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BAEnglish & Creative Writing & Psychology

Why this course?

English & Creative Writing

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.

The emphasis is on helping you develop a range of 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.

Psychology

Our main focus in psychology is the study of human behaviour.

You'll study conditions of behaviour; how we learn, remember, coordinate our actions and interact with others. You'll also study the reasons for differences between individuals, such as personality or intelligence.

Due to the popularity of the course and performance criteria for entry into Honours (Year 4), numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are broad-based to start with. In Year 1 you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

What you’ll study

English & Creative Writing

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:

  • Writing Through Time 1 (semester one) 
  • Writing Through Time 2 (semester two)

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 a screenplay. 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

Psychology

Year 1

The first year covers the basic principles of learning including biological bases of behaviour, thinking and memory.

Years 2 & 3

Due to the popularity of the course, performance-related criteria may be in place to manage entry into Honours (Year 4); this means that the numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited. Years 2 & 3 provides a greater understanding of human development and interaction, cognitive processes, individual differences and biological influences on behaviour.

Year 4

In Year 4, variety of classes that allow you to study an area of psychology in greater depth. You’ll study conceptual and historical issues in psychology and write a dissertation based on your research project.

Outreach

We're committed to working with people from other disciplines and walks of life. Each year, we welcome distinguished creative writers and academics to speak about their work and encourage students to come and meet them. The Faculty has hosted numerous international conferences on topics ranging from texts and architecture to cyberculture. We currently host internationally recognised networks on Animal Studies and Stories in Scotland which involve other universities and organisations.

Work placement

A third-year option class on which a student can set up and fulfill a placement as part of their degree is currently in development.  This will allow you to take the skills you have gained from your study at Strathclyde out into the wider world.

Research-based teaching

You'll be taught by researchers with international reputations. All of our staff not only teach but write books, articles, drama and poetry and appear in the media and on radio programmes. This keeps our students in touch with the latest ideas in the subject.

International connections

Every year, some of our students study abroad at universities overseas, including in Europe and the USA. We also welcome students from all over the world to study with us. We encourage international contact which enables staff and students to remain open to new ideas.

International placement

There's an opportunity for you to take an optional international research placement through Erasmus.

The School of Psychological Sciences and Health has Erasmus exchange agreements with several European universities including:

  • Humboldt University zu Berlin, Germany
  • Universidad de A Coruna, Spain
  • University of Twente, Netherlands
  • University Tubingen, Germany
  • Radbout University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Facilities

Our high-quality facilities include six purpose-built experimental research laboratories:

  • driving simulator lab
  • memory lab
  • perception and action lab
  • psychophysiology lab
  • psycholinguistics lab
  • oculomotor lab

Major projects

You can undertake an optional summer research project working with a member of staff. In addition, there are opportunities to apply for funding to complete summer internships between year 3 and 4.

Postgraduate study

Psychology graduates can progress into postgraduate training to become professional psychologists. We currently run a number of post-graduate courses which provide additional research training:

Student competitions

We currently award two prizes to exceptional psychology students.

The Gustav Jahoda Prize founded in 1997 in honour of Emeritus Professor Gustav Jahoda, the first Head of the Department of Psychology, is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners to a psychology Honours student for outstanding academic performance in their final year.

The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award is also awarded annually for outstanding academic performance in the final year.  

Course content

Year 1

English & Creative Writing

English 1A & 1B

These first-year classes offer an introduction to the study of English at university level.

In the course of these classes you will study a range of texts in the three main genres of creative literature - poetry, prose, and drama – and will learn to engage with the critical materials that analyse them, and have the option in assessment to respond creatively to some of these work as well.

Across this year you will also 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. Current texts studied in this class include Othello, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and some contemporary song lyrics and Renaissance poetry.

Psychology

Psychology 1a

You'll take this class in semester 1 and are not expected to have any prior knowledge of psychology. It explores learning theory, developmental psychology, personality, biological psychology, and the scientific basis for psychology.

Psychology 1b

This class is taught in semester 2 and covers sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and research methods.

Year 2

English & Creative Writing

Writing Through Time

These classes develop your understanding of literary criticism from our first-year classes by engaging with the question of the historical situatedness of literary production, offering an overview of key ideas, debates and literary texts from the Renaissance to the present. Once again our focus is on different genres of writing: this time, poetry, drama, long and short prose fiction, and a screenplay. Through these texts, you will engage with distinct modes of analysis, with literary critical approaches sitting alongside more innovative creative approaches.

Elective

The Construction of Scotland 1

This class offers a wide variety of ways of thinking about 'Scottishness' and Scottish national identity. The main aim of the class it to challenge assumptions of national identity as something that is coherent and fixed by exploring the many complexities, subtleties, and contradictions in Scottish identity. Focusing on issues of language, gender, and place, the class will encourage students to deepen their understanding of 'Scottishness' and the constructed nature of national identity through a literary and cultural lens.

Making the Modern Human

The class aims to introduce you to changing ideas about the human in relation to two key moments in history: the concept of the idea of the beast within from the age of Shakespeare, and the emergence of Darwin's theory of evolution in the mid-nineteenth century. The class will look at shifts in understanding the boundary between humans and animals and at what that meant for how people understood themselves at two very different moments in the past. Core to the class will be how scientific, philosophical and literary materials contemplate the same ideas.

Psychology

Cognition & Neuropsychology

This class reveals how our understanding of higher mental functions has been enhanced through:

  • theoretical and experimental studies of normal human cognition
  • neuropsychological studies of how cognitive functions may be damaged as a result of brain lesions
Topics covered include disorders of the perceptual system, memory and attention, and the role of the frontal lobes in planning, motivation, emotion, and personality.
Social & Health Psychology

This class introduces social psychological theories and research that provide insights into why people believe what they believe, and why they behave the way they do.

Topics covered include attribution theory, aggression, prosocial behaviour, group influence, norms, conformity, obedience, and attitudes.

It ends with an introduction to health psychology, demonstrating how social psychological principles covered earlier in the class are applied to pressing, real-world health issues such as dietary behaviour, smoking/alcohol-use, and suicide.

Introduction to Research Design & Analysis

You'll be introduced to the main features of measurement, research design, and statistical analysis in psychology.

Following a general introduction, the course presents fundamental concepts, issues, and debates in the field of research methods.

You'll also become familiarised with the conceptual basis for inferential statistical testing, and introduced to different inferential statistics. Finally, a brief introduction to qualitative research methods takes place.

Year 3

English & Creative Writing

Writing Short Fiction and Poetry

An introduction to two key genres of creative writing.

Dramatic Writing

An introduction to writing drama for radio, stage, and screen

In addition, students will select additional classes from a range of available options. In the past these have included: 

  • Victorian Literature
  • Language in Business
  • Shakespeare
  • Greek Theatre to National Theatre
  • The Sexed Self
  • International Influences
  • Theories of Literature and Wellbeing
  • Writing War
  • Reading Poetry
  • Directing in the Theatre

Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology

This class builds on year 2 and equips you with a broader, more advanced set of methodological and analytic skills. These skills are essential for carrying out the year 4 dissertation and for being able to read and understand articles published in academic journals.

Individual Differences

You're encouraged to think scientifically about conceptual and practical issues related to the study of individual differences, with specific reference to intelligence and personality. You'll gain the chance to put this knowledge into practice by designing your own measurement instrument.

Cognition

You'll be introduced to some of the core topics in cognitive psychology

  • Perception and action, particularly how we perceive time and recognise faces
  • Memory and learning, including models of episodic and working memory
  • Language, including word production, sentence comprehension, and discourse processing
  • Thinking, specifically problem solving, deductive reasoning and judgement and decision making.
Development

This class reviews the ways that children develop from infancy right through to the end of adolescence. Key theories are presented and used to explore the extent to which children’s development is continuous or stage-like and whether specific skills develop more quickly than others. Issues relating to infancy, ‘theory of mind’ (understanding others’ thoughts and beliefs), executive function (planning and monitoring abilities), language, and communication form the core themes in the class.

Psychobiology

The purpose of this class is to provide the opportunity for you to learn the basic principles of brain function, and to encourage you to address the implications of this understanding for their own view of how behaviour is generated. It includes coverage of electrophysiology and psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy, research methods in neuroscience. There are focused sections relating to the visual system and the motor system.

Social Psychology

This class allows you to consider current ideas and positions within social psychology. Four themes drive the class

  • Attitudes and attitude change, covering the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Health Belief Model
  • Identity, with a focus on social, personal and group identities
  • Prejudice, connecting both attitudes and identities, and covering a broad range of areas such as social representations, stereotyping, prejudice and conflict
  • Epistemology, where consideration is given to the theory of knowledge, how social psychological knowledge is produced, and to what effect

Year 4

English & Creative Writing

Dissertation

This individual project involves original academic research under one-on-one supervision with a member of staff. 

In the past option classes in year 4 have included:

  • Literature, Mind and Brain
  • Wild in the Renaissance
  • Songs: Music and Literature
  • Studio Theatre Performance
  • The Sixties in Britain
  • Creative Economies & Culture Industry
  • The Nineteen Thirties
  • Victorian Gothic
  • Writing Fiction
  • New Narratives
  • Creative Writing Portfolio

Psychology

Dissertation in Psychology

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to undertake an original piece of research, closely supervised by a single member of staff. Planning for the dissertation begins in year 3, and dissertations can be of such high standards that they are subsequently published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Advanced Organisational Behaviour

This class is offered by the Strathclyde Business School, and draws on current themes in Human Resource Management understood from the perspective of micro-organisational behaviour theory and research. Although the theoretical underpinning of the material covered is primarily about work and organisational issues at the level of individual behaviour in organisations, a contextual understanding of these issues is also encouraged.

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice

Choice of topics may include:

  • Belief & Anomalistic Experience
  • The Psychology of Mental Health
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Psychology & Ageing
  • Psychology of Language
  • Critical Review
  • The Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience of Face Recognition
  • Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Practical Aspects of Memory 

 

 

Assessment

English & Creative Writing

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)

Psychology

We assess you using class tests, essays, practical reports, dissertations, individual presentations, group presentations and degree exams. Online and face-to-face group project work is also included in the course. You'll also take part in practical assignments from first-year onwards.

Learning & teaching

English & Creative Writing

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.

Psychology

Our methods include lectures, small-group tutorials, practical labs, online tutorials, online wikis, group work, problem-based learning and one-to-one supervision.

These methods are used across all years of the degree and aim to provide you with opportunities to learn and work in different ways.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA (Higher English plus one from the list below, Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 B, or equivalent)
2nd sitting: AAAABB (Higher English plus one from the list below, Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 B, or equivalent)

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

Year 2

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required; GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB; (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than AAB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

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.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the 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. 

Widening access

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.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

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.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

2019/20

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU
  • tbc
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); 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.

International
  • £14,650

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.

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 and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, 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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Graduates from our English programmes have gone on to have success in a very wide range of careers including in publishing, the civil service, management, marketing, journalism, creative writing, administration and teaching. Employers value our graduates’ ability to express themselves well and think critically.

Professional psychologist

Our BA in Psychology is BPS accredited, allowing you to continue your studies to become a professional psychologist. This can lead to working in areas including the following:

  • clinical psychology working in the healthcare profession dealing with a range of mental and physical health problems
  • educational psychology working with young people in conjunction with parents, teachers, doctors and other people involved in their education
  • occupational psychology in either a consultancy or in-house role
  • forensic psychology working with penal institutions and other relevant bodies
  • health psychology working with the NHS and other health departments
  • neuropsychology working with people who have had traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions
  • sports psychology working with atheletes to improve performance
  • scientific study and research working in developing and improving psychological practice

Note: to become a Chartered Psychologist you must graduate in a course accredited by the BPS

Other career paths

Other possible careers are teaching, human resource management, social work, counselling and management and professional positions throughout the private and public sectors.

Employers value psychology graduates’ ability to gather, evaluate and communicate complex ideas and their application of psychological knowledge in professional environments.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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