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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 4 - 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112* (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



Joint Honours

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

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.

What it's like to study Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Derby

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, 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.

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.

This 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 developing a regular creative salon which will provide even further opportunities for our students to network with those working in the creative industries and there are regular volunteering opportunities through local and national contacts.

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 study part of your degree at one of our partner universities in America:

Popular Joint Honours combinations

Joint Honours gives you the flexibility to cover two subjects in one degree. Popular combinations with Creative & Professional Writing include:

You can also study Creative & Professional Writing as a single honours subject.

What you will study

Example modules are shown below, the modules available as a Joint Honours student will be dependent on the subject that you combine with. In your first year, modules will be defined for you, and will be dependent on your subject combination to ensure you have the best fit. In your second and third years, module availability and the number of modules you are required to take will depend on whether you choose this subject as a major, joint or minor.

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Year 3Year 3

Code: 4CW507

Introduction to Creative Forms

This module furnishes you with a comprehensive, practice-based introduction to the basic requisite skills of public creative and professional writing, the fundamentals of the disciplinary culture of creative community, and the creative writing workshop. It facilitates the shift from private and personal writing practice towards the habits and skills necessary for writers intending to be read by others.

It introduces you to the practices of generating new drafts of work, in response to prompts and/or starting from original concepts; giving, receiving, and sifting constructive and discipline-, craft- and genre-specific feedback in verbal and written form from peers and tutors; basic editing and copy-editing; redrafting; professional presentation of drafts in hard copy and document formats; maintenance of a portfolio of original work; collective self-management of workshop groups; and disciplined written and verbal reflection on individual and group creative and editorial processes, and critical self-evaluation.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4CW508

Introduction to Professional Writing (PDP)

This broad-ranging module will enable you to explore the craft of practical writing in its many forms and contexts. You will examine the structures and constraints imposed by various media, taking into account audience/ readership, style, and format, as well as legal and ethical issues.

The module will be practice based, allowing you the opportunity to hone your writing abilities to a high standard, and giving you an excellent grounding for further study in specialist areas, such as print and broadcast journalism, scriptwriting, corporate communications, and new media. You will be encouraged to develop your own voice through the processes of writing, working in groups, and on individual projects and briefs. There will also be opportunities to engage with current practices from professionals within the relevant industry sectors.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4CW510

The Writer's Toolbox: Introduction

This module introduces you to independent learning and work habits, in order to make a successful transition to the habits of thought and work required for university study and the sustained pursuit of creative and professional writing as a vocation or career.

It offers you the space to refresh and reconsider basic writing, work and study skills with a fresh view to their application to public creative and professional writing and the fundamentals of the disciplinary culture of creative community. It also supports and informs the shift from private and personal writing practice towards the habits and skills necessary for writers intending to be read by others.

It introduces habits of creative thinking and problem-solving; the poetics of language; grammar, syntax, larger structures and forms, and their creative applications; the basic craft issues in creative and professional writing; larger time- and task-management and independence of career choice and writing life.

It provides a basic introduction to the independent practice of creative and professional writing skills, transferable to other modules, to writing work and study generally, and ultimately to working and writing life beyond university. 

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4CW511

The Writer's Toolbox: Reading for Writing

This module concentrates on reading as the fundamental activity underpinning the act of creating new writing. The philosophy of the module can be stated very simply: the reading and absorption of good books nourishes the potential for good writing.

You will be encouraged on this module to learn from writers; to consider the lessons you can learn from them in terms of style, structure, and theme; to apply these to your own writing; to acknowledge these influences and to reference them appropriately.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CW501

Creative Practice: Writing Processes (PDP)

In this Creative Practice module, you will focus on the processes of writing and produce original quality work in a variety of forms, including life-writing, poetry and prose. You will address what processes are useful for writers to be creative and to produce work of a good standard. You will work on important areas for a writer to develop, including theme and form and voice.
20 Credits

Code: 5CW502

Focus On: Narration

This module deals with contextual and theoretical issues which develop your awareness of past writing in relation to the contemporary, and examines the historical developments of narratives from the earliest known examples and from orality to literacy.

The scope of this module is vast, as it is globally centred, and looks at how and why narratives are such an important part of human identity. It examines the way narratives shape and therefore limit our understanding, and questions representations of realities and fixed definitions. It also looks at the possibilities for contemporary narratives and opens a dialogue on narrative theory and archetypes, while examining the way beliefs have informed the stories we inherit.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CW503

Focus On: Poetry

This module will enhance the creative, critical and work-shopping skills deployed in Level 4 Creative Practice and Workshop modules with specific emphasis on the writing of poetry. Examples from published literature will be used to prompt classroom debate and provoke your own original poetry. You will use drafts of your poetry in group discussion – small groups, whole class discussion and one to one consultations with your tutor – in order to re-draft and present in a portfolio of poems.
20 Credits

Code: 5CW504

Focus On: Short Fiction

This is a practical workshop module designed to introduce students to the writing, genre, and history of short fictions, to show examples of good practice, and to examine the serious/popular distinction. Referencing some of the ideas and methods introduced in Focus on Narration, this module concentrates on the idea of the story as literature.

The module is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to a specialised genre and to help them find a voice, develop a personal style, avoid derivative approaches and lead them towards competence in writing short fictions aimed at a variety of different media and audiences. They will create original stories and plots of their own and by the end of the module, students should have begun to establish a body of work which could be submitted for publication.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CW508

Magazine Editing Project

In this module, you focus on writing and editing as collaborative, practical skills with an emphasis on workplace applications. You write to briefs to develop your writing skills, including creative and journalistic non-fiction.

You work as part of a team in projects planned to include 30 hours outward-facing collaborative work with an external agency, researching stakeholders, clients, and readerships, balancing priorities and focusing on essential editing skills. You produce individual piece(s) of work for assessment and (where appropriate) external publication, to support your developing writing career.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CW504

Writer's Toolbox: The Written World

The aim of this module is to examine the manner in which writing functions in the ‘written world’, and to analyse and question how in many ways the world we live in is constructed through writing. In what is sometimes known as the ‘age of the image’, or the ‘digital age’, what the relationship is between the word and image will be examined. In a global context, the role of writing in different cultures and across cultures will be explored. What is the significance of writing in different cultures, and what use is the term globalisation? Guest lecturers from the world of writing will offer input, and you will be examining the role of writing, in its many formats.

You will produce a honed piece of writing, building on your technical, literary and narrative skills. You will also examine how writing functions in a wide variety of environments, such as story development, editing, writing as therapy, promotion, and publishing. Visits to local and national museums, cultural heritage sites, and other areas of interest will be arranged for “location writing” exercises.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CW505

Advanced Poetry

This module will enhance the creative, critical and workshopping skills developed in Level 5 Creative Practice and Workshop modules with specific emphasis on the writing of poetry. The module is also an ideal way to develop skills learned on the Level 5 Focus on Poetry module.

Lectures will focus on key techniques, fostering a more advanced approach to such areas as form, image, metaphor, and rhythm. Diverse examples from published material, both critical and creative, will be used to prompt classroom debate and provoke your own original poetry. There will also be input on the performance of poetry, and the setting of it in more creative or collaborative contexts, possibly in conversation with other art forms.

You will use drafts of your poetry in group discussion – small groups, whole-class discussion and one to one consultations with your tutor – in order to re-draft and present a portfolio of poems. You will also engage critically with published poetry from a wide range of modern and contemporary schools and styles. This will include poetry written for different platforms, which may include live performance, song lyrics, audio podcast, and gallery installation.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CW506

Genre Fiction

This module concentrates on extending the range of writing, the challenges of achieving publication, and developing presentation skills to a professional level. In particular, the module will allow you to present in a portfolio a diverse selection of work.

In practical workshops you will sharpen your skills and be encouraged to attempt different genre styles, to write out of your comfort zone. The serious/literary and popular distinction will be examined, as will postmodern attitudes, and trans-genre writing, as well as a selection of recognisable and developed genre forms.

Students will be encouraged to explore outlets for publication and report back on house styles, literary magazines, journals etc. in order to understand the implications of areas under discussion. This module is intended to enable you to put your favourite writing experience to practical use, while also challenging and extending genre forms.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CW507

Portfolio Project (PDP)

This Creative and Professional Practice module enables you to produce writing to a publishable standard. You will work on developing your creative and professional writing, potentially your own writing project. You will study writing techniques and apply them in a workshop setting. You will also learn about professional practices, contexts, and markets to accompany and direct your development.
20 Credits

Code: 6CW997

Independent Study in Creative Writing

This module provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to work independently on a portfolio of original work based on, and underpinned by, your own substantial and original research. The portfolio may be poetry, prose, scriptwriting or feature articles.

This module takes place in the final phase of degree study so you will be able to apply and develop skills, competence and creative practice acquired in the earlier phases of study.

More information
40 Credits

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.

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Open Days

Register your interest for a future Open Day and we'll be in touch as soon as we are able to welcome you on campus.

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How you will learn

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 press articles, journalism, 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:

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:

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

Who will teach you

Simon Heywood

Dr Simon Heywood
Programme leader

Simon is Senior Lecturer, Creative and Professional Writing.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112* (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 GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

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.

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Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£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

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


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.

By studying Creative & Professional Writing as a Joint Honours subject, you will broaden your scope in the job market. It will set you apart as a flexible, adaptable and highly organised graduate, while enabling you to apply for an even wider variety of jobs.

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.  

Contact us


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.

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Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

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.

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Creative & Professional Writing can be combined with:


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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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