Why this course?
Our approach to the English & Creative writing course is innovative, modern and friendly, giving you a comprehensive understanding of English literature as a core basis for your creative work. There's an emphasis on helping you develop a range of applicable skills to grow your future career, including textual analysis and interpretation.
With us, you can study everything from poetry, the novel and drama (stage, screen, and radio) as you would expect on an English and Creative Writing degree, but in addition, at Strathclyde, we offer the opportunity to use creative writing skills as part of your approach to literary criticism.
As part of your experience, you’ll get the chance to work with award-winning scholars and creative writers. We have a reputation for getting to know students as individuals. We also offer a wide range of options, many of them unique in the UK, reflecting our staff interests and expertise.
What you'll study
All students take one English & Creative Writing class in each semester of the first year. These classes introduce the advanced study of literature and include a focus on research methods and techniques for writing essays – with the option of using a creative as well as critical approach.
Texts studied currently include Shakespeare, Othello; Bronte, Jane Eyre; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Woolf, Flush; Kay, Trumpet; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, and a range of poetry from the Renaissance to contemporary slam and rap.
In the second year, students take two core classes over two semesters: Writing Through Time 1 and 2.
You then have a choice of one or two interdisciplinary electives:
- The Construction of Scotland: Text and Context (semester one)
- Making the Modern Human (semester two)
Writing Through Time 1 and 2, our core classes, give you the confidence to discuss the historical range of English literature, which will include poetry, drama, the novel, and short stories. The interdisciplinary elective classes will open out a variety of different ways of thinking about literary studies in a broader context.
In the third year, you choose (single honours) six option classes (a minimum of two, of which must be in creative writing), or (joint honours) three option classes (one of which must be a creative writing class). Current options offered by staff include:
- From Greek Theatre to the National Theatre of Scotland
- Sin in Renaissance Drama
- The Glasgow Novel
- Language in Business
- International Influences
- Writing War
- Detective Fiction
- Directing in the Theatre
- Scottish Literature: 1770-1914
- Children’s Literature
- Reading Poetry
- Writing Short Fiction and Poetry
- Dramatic Writing
In Honours year, Single Honours students take five options and the dissertation in either English or Creative Writing (three classes must be from each of English and Creative Writing). Joint Honours students either take two options and the dissertation in either English or Creative Writing or write their dissertation in their other subject and take three English and Creative Writing options (one class must be from English). Current examples of our Honours options include:
- Dramatic Work in Performance
- Sixties Britain: Literature, Culture, Counterculture
- Literature, Mind, and Brain
- Creative Economies and the Culture Industry
- Songs: Music and Literature
- The 1930s: Literature and Culture
- Victorian Gothic
- Wild in the Renaissance
- New Narratives
- Creative Writing Portfolio
- Contemporary Travel Writing
- Forms of Feminism in Contemporary Literature
Single & joint Honours information
English, English and Creative Writing, History, Politics and International Relations and Psychology may be studied to Single or Joint Honours level.
Education, French, Spanish, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes. Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Tourism can also be studied alongside a Humanities and Social Sciences subject.
The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you will be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.
[Strathclyde] gave me brilliant contacts and taught me how to look more closely at the world. It also gave me a killer reading list. I’m always grateful for being exposed to writers I would never have learned about otherwise.
Graduate, The Times and Sunday Times features writer
We're based in the Lord Hope Building which provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces.
The Andersonian Library - directly opposite - has around a million print volumes as well as access to over one million electronic books and over 105,000 e-journals.
English 1A & 1B
This first semester module offers an introduction to the study of English at university level. It offers a foundation for students who are interested in the historical and critical analysis of literary texts and for those who want to write creatively for themselves. It's the first module in the English degree and the English and Creative Writing degree.
In taking this module you'll have an opportunity to understand how particular historical and social contexts shape literature and to discuss ways in which historical literature continues to live and have relevance to the contemporary reader. You'll also study in detail the ways in which literary texts are constructed. In understanding the mechanisms that make literary texts work – the choices made by an author about genre, form, and language – you'll become a subtler, more-attentive reader and a better-informed and better-equipped writer.
Writing Through Time 1&2
These will situate texts in context, from genre to historical period and theory. The texts include poetry, drama, novels, short stories, life writing, and screenplays and you'll have the chance to choose between critical and creative writing responses for one assessment on each class.
The Construction of Scotland
This class looks at a range of literary texts and how they interpret and create the idea of ‘human’ at different points in history.
Making the Modern Human
This class explores how Scottish fiction and drama of the 20th and 21st centuries creates the idea of Scotland.
Writing Short Fiction & Poetry
Writing Short Fiction and Poetry is an 11-week module studying contemporary short stories and lyric poetry. Generally speaking, the aim of this class is to get you writing as soon as possible – each week is aimed at teaching some of the basics of Creative Writing alongside a case study of a writer and their particular approach to elements of the craft.
We'll be reading screenplays, talking about them, and writing our own. What is the difference between writing for the page and writing for the screen? Screenplays are, in practice, a series of instructions: for actors, for crew members, for potential financiers. A screenplay is a dual-purpose document. It exists as proof of concept (i.e., proof of narrative); and it is there to communicate the spirit and tone of the finished film. More than anything, our first job as writers for the screen is to make the reader hear and see. Primarily it is to make the reader see. There are many ways in to a life in writing for the screen. But, as with any good work of fiction, it begins with engaging characters. Do they appear to us fully formed? Or does it take development? How can we get them onto the page? What are the decisions we make at the start of a project? What is visible and the invisible writing? This class encourages you to consider the shape of your story in order to point yourself—and your narrative—in the right direction.
The American Novel
This class aims to introduce you to some of the major forms and themes in the 20th century American novel with some more contemporary content. The module investigates how major social and historical issues have shaped some of the most important American novels and how the novel, as a form, has developed and adapted to describe new and different realities. Some of the historical and social issues covered in the class include:
- the suburbs and the city
- the legacy of slavery
- queer life in the US
- stories of migration and travel
This module is designed to equip students who wish to pursue studies in American literature or culture in more depth with an overview of the period. It's also designed to expand the knowledge of students with a general interest in the novel.
This class will study the literature of the Victorian period (1837-1901) and will focus on fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose. It aims to situate this writing both in its contemporary political, social and cultural contexts and in the light of recent critical and theoretical debates. Themes to be covered will include:
- the 'crisis of faith'
- science and evolutionary theory
- realism and the Victorian novel
- medievalism and Victorianism
- literature and the visual arts
- key peotic genres, including elegy and dramatic monologue
- popular fiction
- the 'Woman Question'
- Empire and travel writing
- the new journalism and Victorian reading publics
- representations of the city and technology
- issues of canon and periodisation
Twentieth Century Literature
This class explores twentieth-century English literature with a focus on fiction, poetry, and drama. The survey examines major literary figures from the first half of the century, such as Woolf and Stein, along with their contemporaries and successors. Particular attention will be paid to the literary culture of Modernism before exploring the texts, culture and politics of the later 20th century through writers such as Spark, McGrath and Smith. Emphasis will be placed on understanding a diverse range of literature in historical, critical and theoretical contexts as a means of engaging with the rich literary heritage of the twentieth century, and what the twenty-first century might bring.
Sex, Revenge & Corruption in Renaissance Drama
This module will focus on drama, a key genre in the period from the 1580s to the closure of the playhouses in 1642. Reading work by major dramatists, we'll engage with a form that addressed a highly literate audience as well as a popular one, and is thus a particularly interesting place to trace ways of thinking in the period. The common thread that ties this selection of plays together is their interest in transgression: what happens when humans cross the limits set by tradition, religion and the state?
In the process of this theatrical interrogation, the plays pose questions about violence, identity, gender, desire, citizenship and the role of the theatre itself. We'll read tragedies and comedies; alongside these, you'll also be asked to think about the moral and theological debates that were taking place at the time these works were produced and consumed. Thus, for example, we'll read plays by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton alongside writing by Robert Burton, Sir Francis Bacon and Niccolo Machiavelli. This will enable us to explore how ideas about sex, revenge and corruption in the period are developed and contested between the stage and the work of some of the most influential thinkers at the time; it will also allow us to consider how some of these early modern limit cases still ask questions of us today.
Lectures will provide context for tutorials, which will be organised around worksheets that will be circulated in advance, and so will give you the chance to prepare for each class, and will allow everyone the chance to contribute to discussions.
Language in Business & Organisations
This class explores the ways in which language is used in businesses and other organisations. The class assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics, and teaches technical skills in discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and the analysis of other types of verbal interaction, in speech, writing and electronic communications. The analytical skills learned in this class, and the theoretical ideas, will be useful also in the analysis of literature or any other aspect of language in use. Seminars give you practice in the analytical skills. The class assumes that you have no prior knowledge or experience in discourse analysis, conversation analysis, pragmatics, etc.
The Body: Theories & Representations
What does it mean to ‘write the body’? How has the world of sensory experience been rendered in theory, literature, and film? What metaphors do we summon to understand physical experiences of joy, sickness, health, desire, exhaustion, and intoxication?
This class will approach these questions (and more) by studying literary, visual, and theoretical engagements with the body in late 20th and 21st -century culture. Over the course of the semester, you'll encounter some key debates about the body and its representation in literature and film. You'll engage with the fields of gender theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and disability theory. You'll also learn some strategies for analysing contemporary culture through the ‘lens’ of theory, developing skills you can take into other areas of your study.
Textlab is one of several Vertically Integrated Projects (ViPs) running across the University. Each ViP brings together a team of undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff to work on a research-based project.
TextLab brings together students and staff from English/Humanities and Computer and Information Science. We work on research projects in the field of Digital Humanities (the application of computer-based technologies to the study of texts) – specifically using computers to analyse Shakespeare’s language, and building a website aimed at schools.
English & Creative Writing Work Placement
This placement module offers you the opportunity to gain practical, work-based experience (minimum 60 hours) in an area that is professionally related to or relevant to your BA. For your degree this might be working with a publisher, or literary agency, or in an office environment where you are using your skills in reading, interpretation and writing. Or you might use this as an opportunity to look towards a future career: so, if you plan to go into teaching, for example, you could look to get a placement working in a subject-related environment with young people.
The Glasgow Novel
This class will trace the development of fictional representations of Glasgow from the beginnings of industrialism to the present age. In doing so, it will consider a wide variety of historical and literary approaches to depicting the city. Beginning with a brief history of the pre-C20th Glasgow novel, the course goes on to consider some of the most famous literary depictions of Glasgow, including McArthur and Long’s No Mean City, Archie Hind’s The Dear Green Place and Alasdair Gray’s Lanark.
The Dissertation is compulsory for single honours students and optional for joint-honours students.
This individual project involves original academic research under one-on-one supervision with a member of staff. In addition, you will choose from a range of research and practice led options.
Writing Gender in Contemporary Literature
This class examines how contemporary authors make sense of gendered experience. We'll investigate cultural practices of writing (and rewriting) gender in the twenty-first century, paying particular attention to the relationships between gender and literary genre, from transgender memoirs to autofictional masculinities, twenty-first-century romance novels, and the queer graphic novel. We'll also investigate the impact of feminist political activism on the publishing industry, from the indie press to the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The class will introduce you to key theories of gender and equip you with strategies for reading literature through the lens of feminist theory. Over the course of the semester, you'll encounter some of our most exciting contemporary writers and deepen your understanding of literary gender politics in the present day.
21st Century Science Fiction
This class introduces you to twenty-first-century science fiction from across the globe. Contemporary science fiction creates alternative technological bodies and worlds, allowing us to address questions around what it means to be human, what our relationship is to technology and how we might build worlds that are less destructive. With these major themes in mind, this class will focus on four key critical lenses:
- sexuality and gender
Questions to be explored include:
- how are worlds reconfigured through queer sexualities and genders
- what futures are brought into being for previously marginalised peoples
- what is science fiction’s relation to the past
- how does contemporary science fiction challenge tropes of colonialism
- what bodies emerge in these future worlds and why?
Each week you'll read, watch or listen to a contemporary, global science fiction text exploring how histories, worlds, bodies and relations are represented and reimagined.
The publishing world is changing rapidly with the advent of digital publishing and the ebook. This class will enable students to explore new possibilities and write for new markets and platforms. It will also look at skills that students need for a career in both traditional and digital publication such as editing, submitting work and performing/reading work in front of an audience.
This class aims to hone the skills students have acquired in previous years to produce new work for print, performance and for a range of digital platforms. It will also provide an up-to-date examination of the publishing world and will include reflective element.
Present Day Victorians
Neo-Victorian cultural products have been recognised as a crucial site for the critical rediscovery and reinterpretation of Victorian literature and culture (in particular the themes of class, race, gender and sexuality). Evoking the genres of crime and mystery fiction, themes of science, technology and alternative futures, the figure of the Victorian author and the voices of marginal characters from Mrs Rochester to the ghosts of the séance circle, neo-Victorian writing seeks to understand the continuing impact of the nineteenth century on the present day. This class will consider how and why these texts have problematised Victorian discourses (e.g. imperialism, madness, sexual deviance, technology, the cultural roles of reading and writing). We'll draw on a range of interpretative strategies from post-colonial, feminist, queer, adaptation, appropriation, heritage and film studies.
The Power of Underlying Material: Adaptation, book to film & beyond
This class is an elective option in fourth year English that encourages students to look at the layering process involved in adapting a piece of underlying material either for literature or for the screen. We will examine a comprehensive range of source texts that inform many literary works and much of the screen drama available in the late 20th century and, in particular, in the current marketplace.
The class will complement the third year core class in Creative Writing, and will also be useful to those undertaking honours dissertations in Creative Writing. As well as exercises in close reading, and theoretical analysis, the class will emphasise the commercial realities of basing work on underlying material.
Songs: music & literature
This class looks at the relation between language and music in songs, treating songs as literature adapted to music. We'll look at the ways in which the forms and meanings of songs can be studied, in ways similar to the study of poetry, but also in ways specific to song. The class considers technical aspects, including technical aspects of music, but you're not expected to have prior knowledge of music. We look at ways in which songs relate to identity and how they produce emotion. We consider the ways in which songs tell stories, or relate to stories.
This class traces the development of the Gothic across the nineteenth century, from its origins in the Romantic period to its heights in works like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The class is organized around key concepts of the Gothic genre, including the sublime, the unseen, textual hybridity, un narrative unreliability.
We'll also look at subgenres like the Female Gothic and Eco-Gothic, examining how the Gothic allows authors to explore cultural anxieties including women’s rights, deviant sexualities, urbanisation, migration, and environmental devastation. Iconic monsters like Frankenstein’s monster, Mr Hyde, and Dracula will thus be situated within their specific cultural milieu, helping us to understand both their origins and their continued popularity.
Wild in the Renaissance
The concept of 'the wild' is one that emerges in many different ways in the writings of the Renaissance; in relation to self-cultivation (holding back the wildness within), the control of one's world (taming the ever-present wilderness); and in relations with fellow humans in a changing world (in savage domination). These ideas get played out in numerous ways in the period - from poetic use of the symbolic resonance of gardens and gardening; the religious underpinnings of the 'missionary endeavour' in the New World and what that says about the concept of human nature; to the anxious self-examination of humanity's inevitable sinfulness.
This class will thus introduce you to key canonical texts from the period – plays, poetry, and court masques – by writers including Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton, and will also engage with a critical and theoretical debates about the relationships between humans and the natural world from the new fields of animal studies and ecocriticism.
Contemporary Travel Writing
This class engages with some of the key tensions in contemporary travel writing from race and sexuality, to issues of cultural stereotyping and ‘foreignness’. By working through a series of international case studies ranging from India to North America, the class will address why travel continues to be an important metaphor for thinking about our experience of the world, as well as offering a framework for how we understand it.
Forms of Feminism in Contemporary Literature
The class will explore how feminist concerns are represented in contemporary literature, and how literary forms shape contemporary feminism. Students will encounter some of the most important literary works of the post-1990 period, and learn to make connections between literary analysis and feminist theory. Engaging with a diverse range of literary forms—from novels, poems and plays to comics and manifestos—students will leave the course with an advanced understanding of the role literature plays in contemporary feminist politics.
Most classes are assessed by a mixture of essays or other written work and by exams. For some classes, there are no exams and in some cases, oral work is assessed. The approximate coursework/exam split for the majority of classes is as follows: 75/25% (Year 1) 75/25% (Years 2 and 3) 50%/50% (Year 4)
Learning & teaching
In Year 1 you'll have two lectures and one workshop per week. The rest of your teaching is in your other two subjects.
In Year 2, you will have three lectures and two workshops a week and in Years 3 and 4, you will have between two and four lectures and workshops a week, depending on whether you are undertaking joint or single Honours.
A large part of your week will be spent reading in preparation for classes.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
Required subjects are shown in brackets.
(Higher English, Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)
(Higher English B and Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)
(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 1 entry: Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent
View the entry requirements for your country.
not normally accepted
Students are required to register with the Scottish Government’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme. Please note that Year 2 entry to this subject is not offered.
Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.
Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.
In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
*Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2022-23, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.
|University preparation programme fees|
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland
Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:
You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.
We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.
Please note that you only need to apply once for our BA degree programme.
For instance, if you have applied for BA Honours English and are considering your options for a Joint Honours degree, e.g. a BA Joint Honours in English and French you only need to apply for one or the other on UCAS.
If accepted on to the BA programme, you can study one of the many available subject combinations.
Start date: Sep 2022
English & Creative Writing (1 year entry)
Start date: Sep 2023
English & Creative Writing (1 year entry)
Chat to a student ambassador
If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!
Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.Chat to a student ambassador