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Screenwriting and creative writing students

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Screenwriting

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Institution C58


3 years Full Time

Top 30
UK higher education institution
for courses and lecturers
5 star
rating for inclusiveness, teaching and facilities

Entry Requirements and Fees

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

  • UCAS Tariff points: 104?– 112 (A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC/ Cambridge Technical)
  • A levels: BBC?- BCC
  • BTEC/Cambridge Technical: DMM - MMM
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass?
  • International Baccalaureate: 28 points?
  • IELTS?6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5


2021/22?UK fee: £9,250

2021/22 International fee: £14,050

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.


Course content

1st?for Overall Satisfaction, Learning Community and Academic Support

?(The National Student Survey?2020)


Course Overview

The BA Hons Creative Writing and Screenwriting programme?is offered between our Humanities department and Creative & Digital Technologies department.

This degree creates intellectual enquiry to skills which facilitate employability and an awareness of the demands of graduate professional careers.

This awareness is achieved through?independent study (notably the reading of literature, criticism, watching and analysing screen texts) as well as through participation in formal learning processes in lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Educational objectives range from the assimilation of existing information and knowledge to the production of original creative work- and these are supported throughout the course of a degree by a strong sense of communication with other students in class and with tutors.

There is a strong sense of critical method, analysis, written and oral community, and an appreciation of creativity.

These are skills demanded by graduate employers in the diverse workplaces to which Creative Writing and Screenwriting graduates are attracted and in which they are so highly valued.

Students on the programme will develop sophisticated project research skills and approaches vital for providing accuracy and authenticity to their writing projects.

The development of industry related creative projects and the professional expectations that come with them are at the heart of the Screenwriting modules as we mirror the industrial practices currently being employed.

Why This degree?

The range of assessed work?for Screenwriting modules includes outlines, step outlines, scene by scene breakdowns, treatments, short film screenplays, TV drama ‘Bibles” and scripted episodes, reader’s reports/coverage documents, character biographies, monologues, pitching documents and long form screenplays will enable you to have a full grasp on the wide range of requirements found when scripting drama and comedy work.

For Creative Writing modules, you will engage with a range of genres including poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, drama, radio drama, novel writing and writing for children.

You will be taken through modules which build skills in areas such as the form in poetry, characterisation, plot, dramatic conventions and structuring a novel.

You will engage with a range of broad skillsets that will assist in your career development across numerous industries.

Communication skills, pitching, critical analysis, group/team working, presentation activities, ideas generation and creative expression are all fundamental tools you will develop throughout the programme.

Opportunities to study the history, theory and cultural relevance of Creative Writing and Screenwriting gives you the chance to investigate a range of interests throughout your degree beyond applied practice.

We also run?field trips to international film festivals, galleries, theatres, professional film shoots and industry conventions on a regular basis.

Find out more

Are you interested in this course and want to find more? Come along to an?Open Day. This will give you?the chance to meet our Creative & Digital Technologies?team, ask them questions and explore the campus.?

Alternatively, we are open all year round for campus tours, so why not book on and come and visit Chichester.?


Our facilities

The department of Creative and Digital Technologies is based in?the new Tech Park on the?Bognor?Regis Campus.

These?exciting facilities?provide?access to professional industry standard equipment?and hands on practical learning.?

Tech Park

?CDT Facilities

The Tech Park?facilites?include:

  • A?300sqm?film production studio and sound stage
  • 9 post production edit suites with‘soho’?standard dubbing
  • An?80sqm?green screen studio for motion capture and?chroma work
  • Professional?recording?studios with Mac and PC suites

Learning Resource Centre?

? ?LRC Bognor Campus

Our Learning Resource Centre is?at the heart of our?campuses.?It hosts:

  • Support and Information Zone?(SIZ)?to help with any?enquiries?while at university
  • A modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors?
  • A range of study areas for group study
  • Over 80 open access?PC and Mac?stations
  • Wi-Fi areas for laptop use
  • Substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you?further your research
  • Online library resources you can access?from anywhere?at any time
  • Equipment loans?centre?offerings?laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans
  • Costa?Coffee

The local area

The local area surrounding the University of Chichester's main Campus including Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Town Centre, The South Downs and West Wittering Beach

It’s important to love where you live and study and the local area surrounding the University has so much to offer. With the seaside town, historic city, rolling countryside and stunning beaches, there’s plenty to explore.?

Visit us

Book an Open Day or Campus Tour to discover the?campus and the facilities it has to offer.?


Where this can take you

?This?programme?route can open the door to careers in

  • Television
  • Film
  • Publishing
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Teaching

Postgraduate Pathways

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include?PGCE?and Masters.

*Alumni receive 15% discount on postgraduate fees

Work placements

You will have the option to undertake a Placement module in your second year.

Lecturers will introduce you to issues affecting employment, and individual tutorials and group meetings will offer the chance to discuss progress and support learning.

Indicative modules

Year One:

Foundations of Story

The aims of this module are to introduce students to some of the processes used in creating original screen-works through character design and ideas development. The module will also explore some of the key concepts of story and screenwriting theory, and focuses on the relationships between story, character, structure & plot. It aims to develop transferable skills in creativity and critical analysis.

New TV

This course assesses the recent changes in television culture and engages with key theoretical debates in the field of critical media research. Students will develop their understanding of television genres, audiences and transmedia interactions. Key themes are examined in critical, theoretical and analytical depth. It aims to develop transferable skills in writing, debating and presenting.

Source and Exploration

This module introduces students to some fundamental skills of creative writing through engagement with a variety of sources in the locality. The module will focus on the training of the eye and ear in keen observation, the collection of detail and the recording of the full experience through the employment of the senses. Students will learn the value of the ‘concrete’ as opposed to the ‘abstract’ and generalised, and discover how the ordinary can be rendered extraordinary, in the spirit of Robert Frost’s words, ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen’. Students will visit and explore some selected local places to practice the gathering of ‘on location’ observations. They will also examine, explore and then research, in a writerly way, several other kinds of sources, such as museum objects and works of art, in order to develop their observational skills further and to discover the creative possibilities that these sources may suggest to them. Students will then transform some of their findings and explorations into pieces of imaginative writing.

Creating Characters

Students will be introduced to notions of change and stasis when writing about characters. They will explore ways of finding a voice for a character, through engaging with creative writing exercises designed to access interior and exterior lives. The module does not require fully plotted stories or plays; the short characterisations will be based on moments of change. Students will be required to read short stories and extracts from novels and plays in order to analyse how published authors use suggestive means to convey character. The key method of learning will be a variety of creative writing exercises, some oblique and playful, which will be designed to release and inspire interesting material. This module will induct students into the initial skills of workshopping, a learning method which will be developed throughout the degree.

Screenplay Structure

This module aims to expand upon the work produced in Foundations of Story by exploring the importance of structure during the screenwriting process. Students will be guided through the multitude of choices when considering how to identify, control and utilise structure during the planning and execution of various forms of screenworks

History and Theory of the Screenplay

This module will introduce students to the history and theory of screenwriting and give students the knowledge that will strengthen their grounding for further study of screenwriting as a craft, and give them the vital awareness of how screenwriting works in the real world. The module will explore the beginnings of screenwriting as a blueprint for film, and its evolution as a craft over the years through to the present day and beyond. The module aims to develop a critical awareness of screenwriting as both creative endeavour and functional blueprint, and gain knowledge of how screenwriting has evolved, thus giving students a wholesome awareness of the industry into which they will study further in later modules.

An Introduction to Writing Poetry

This module introduces students to the practice of writing poetry and focuses on working in a variety of forms and voices, which explore imaginative territories and poetic processes. Building on skills learnt in the first semester in using the concrete, in developing artistic research, notebook gatherings and reflections on making creative work, students will now encounter a variety of forms and voices in a variety of contemporary, experimental and traditional poetry. The focus will be on writing itself, finding and recognising source material and imaginative territories, and experimenting with voices, tones, imagery and sound. This module forms the basis of a poetry ‘strand’ which will be developed through Level 5 and may continue in Level 6, if the student chooses.

An Introduction to Writing the Short Story

This module forms an introduction to writing short fiction for Level 4 (Year 1) students. It will build on skills and techniques acquired in the first semester: concrete imagery; writerly research; notebook gatherings; reflections on developing creative work. Now students will encounter a variety of forms and voices in a range of examples from traditional and contemporary sources in both British and international short fiction. The focus, however, will be on writing itself, finding and recognising source material and imaginative territories, and experimenting with voices, characters, dramatic structures, imagery, and genre. This module forms the basis of a fiction ‘strand’ which can be developed through Levels 5 and 6.


Year Two:

Writing TV Drama

The module aims to introduce students to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series or serial. Throughout the module students will contribute to the creation of a Drama TV “Bible”, a package of materials that is used to inform writers, producers and directors of a show’s particular production criteria. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas and scripts for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing the Short Film

This module aims to develop creative skills in audio visual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles and structures involved in the writing of a short (6-7 minute) narrative film. It will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches. It aims to develop transferable skills in pitching.

Creative Writing: Poetry, Form and Freedom

Building on An Introduction to Writing Poetry (Level 4), this Level 5 module will enable students to develop a variety of sophisticated traditional poetic forms and to develop experimental free verse poems within a reflective contemporary poetic practice. At Level 5, students will now explore a greater variety of traditional forms, such as the villanelle, sestina, sonnet, ballad, ghazal among other traditional forms, where the stylistic effects of repetition, formal rhyming, rhythm and metre will be explored. The module will lay equal stress on free verse or ‘open forms’. Students will be encouraged to experiment with a variety of self-designed open forms where an awareness of line arrangements, white space, inventive shapes, sound effects, internal rhymes and echoes, and use of assonance, consonance and dissonance will be further explored. Students will be taught to hone their poetry in order to explore connections between form and meaning. Students will encounter many strategies gleaned from their reading of contemporary poetry. Students who take this module may like to take Advanced Poetry at Level 6.

Poetry: 1300 to the Present (optional)

This critical module aims to provide students with knowledge of how poetic genres have arisen and developed through time. It is co-requisite with a course on the Creative Writing pathway and focuses on poetic forms, their principal characteristics and variations. The module shows that genres transform over time and that even in age when emphasis on pastiche and irony can seem to undermine categories of poetry, genres are still very much at the heart of poetry today.?The module aims to develop student skills in understanding rhythm, rhyme, free verse, diction, particular verbal effects, timbre, tone, voice, poignancy, and to inculcate skills in close critical analysis. It will encourage awareness of the centrality of genre to a wide range of poetic practice from the Renaissance to the present day.

Writing the Feature Film?(optional)

The module aims to introduce students to the process of research and development when creating a Feature Film concept for cinema release. Throughout the module students will explore the opportunities available to UK based writers when developing feature films ideas. The constraints and issues faced by screenwriters in this highly competitive market, and the need to be imaginative, original and distinctive in their work will also be a constant theme. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of development and how to generate cinematic treatments for commercial exploitation. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing for Games?(optional)

This module examines the role of the screenwriter in the development of narrative based computer games. Students will explore the role the screenwriter plays in developing characters, dialogue and worldbuilding. Students will also be introduced to the debates around narrative vs Ludology and the tensions created between story and play.

Prose Fiction: The Dynamics of Change

This module will explore the dynamic of change in the contemporary short story. Student writers will examine model short stories and how they invariably dramatise a significant change in character, and/or situation. In doing so, students will analyse the devices writers use to shape narrative, and to create tension and conflict.

Students will build on the skills learned in Level 4 modules (Source and Exploration, Creating Characters, Introduction to Writing Short Fiction) relating to the ‘building blocks’ of effective writing. Previously, students will have discovered how writers build the material world of a story through setting, character and research. At Level 5, students will continue to develop these skills at a more sophisticated level through exploration of the dynamic of change. They will also analyse how writers shape the world of a story through devices, including dramatisation, exposition, dialogue, patterns of imagery, metaphor, and suggestion. This will deepen students’ knowledge of the short story form and will inspire them to produce creative work that demonstrates their ability to handle a range of technical and imaginative elements involved in writing short fiction.

Students will also write an essay on one of the model short stories. In this essay, they will analyse one of the writing devices explored over the course of the module, assessing its workings in relation to the story’s central theme/s.

Experiments in Fiction: Magic, Detection, Sci Fi and Beyond? (Optional)

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of, and ability to recognise, a range of genres in prose fiction. Students will gain an understanding of genre as a means of classification and understand that the way a text employs genre shapes its meaning. Students will gain an historical sense of how prose fiction genres have arisen and shaped the development of English literature. The module will explore prose fiction from Defoe’s Moll Flanders to Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden (1978), using critical and/or theoretical approaches as appropriate.


Year Three:? ??

Personal Study (Dissertation)

This dissertation level project allows students to build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed at Level Five. It gives students the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing knowledge and understanding of their chosen subject. Crucially, students are expected to work professionally to produce a script with high standards of content, presentation, and development. It aims to develop transferable skills in identifying commercial opportunities for creative practitioners.

Digital Writing

On this module, students will harness the skills developed in non-fiction modules at Levels 4 and 5 to engage with new possibilities in digital writing, including: blogs; games; web-sites; online journalism; Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook; texts; podcasts; comments forums; campaigns; hypertext and the non-linear; e-books; apps; fan fiction; reviews, etc. Students will develop their creative skills, and augment them with the technical skills that are necessary to deliver a written project in a specific interest-area. The content of the project should be appropriate to the chosen delivery ‘platform’. Students will be required to submit a critical essay, exploring specific cultural and political issues that confront digital writers, e.g. ethical concerns; questions of power and authority; privacy; the uncanny; ‘digital dualism’; behavioural matters (including plagiarism and ‘flaming’); writing as a nonlocal activity; writing as an inter-objective experience, etc. Students will be encouraged to explore experimental possibilities, and to extend the range of their work by engaging with groups both within and beyond the University. The module will cover a trinity of skills: academic, technological, and professional. Throughout, students will be encouraged to examine their chosen field critically, and to engage with examples of the best professional practice. They will weigh their results against those of similar models in their chosen field.

Contemporary Short Fiction: Writing the Here and Now

This module will enable students to explore, as active writers and readers, the strategies, innovations and preoccupations of contemporary writers of the short story. Student-writers will?analyse?the craft, technique and?rigour?of 3 to 4 highly regarded short story collections that date from the last fifteen years and will use these texts as ‘springboards’ to their own development as story writers. The reading list will be reviewed each year to ensure students are engaging with the work of cutting-edge and/or award-winning short story writers of our time.

Building on the short story modules of Levels 4 and 5, students will continue to examine the techniques and develop the skills relating to, for example, narrative tension, story structure, point of view,?characterisation, dialogue, the use of research and the shaping of imagery/metaphor. They will continue to develop their knowledge of the short story as a form of diverse fictional modes e.g., social realism, the fantastic, modern Gothic, the experimental, etc. In addition, at this advanced level, they will engage with more complex ideas regarding, for example, the relationship of the modern short story form to marginality, subversion and desire. They will investigate a sophisticated range of short story structures, the power of strong story openings, the effect of the ‘epiphanic’ conclusion, the delivery of narrative revelation, the intensification of language in short story form, the crafting of a single sentence or paragraph, etc. They will consider the inspiration and subject material of writers who are artistically engaged with society, culture and the world in the 21st century.

In these ways, the module will enable students to broaden their range as writers and to deepen their artistic interests and ambition. It will challenge them to become autonomous writers and will encourage them to extend their research,their powers of observation, as well as their drafting and editing skills.

Writing Flash Fiction

This module builds upon the knowledge students will have of both short fiction and poetry. It begins with the historical development of ‘flash fiction’ across the globe, but ultimately puts the emphasis on the contemporary literary scene, where ‘flash fiction’ is now embedding itself as a respected form. A wide variety of short forms will be covered, ranging from the ‘smoke-long’ tradition that originated in China to the contemporary narratives now popular in the West. Along the way, students will?analyse?prose that crosses the line into poetry, and poetry that heads in the opposite direction by putting the emphasis on narrative. Throughout, there will be discussion of where ‘flash fiction’ belongs on the poetry-prose continuum. ‘Documentary poems’ such as Carolyn?Forche’s?‘The Colonel’ will be used to stimulate critical thinking about the relationship between poetry and prose – and about how the form can be manipulated to create ‘prose-poetry’ hybrids. Students will be encouraged to evaluate their own relationship with the form, and to formulate insights into the cultural and sociological factors that are responsible for its resurgence in recent years. By composing their own portfolio of short-short fiction, students will be challenged to see the form from the inside, and to focus upon the creative challenges that are unique to ‘flash fiction’. These challenges will be brought into additional focus by workshops that require critical reflection upon the evolving work. There will also be a Guest Lecture by a ‘flash fiction’ practitioner.

Making It Strange: Writing The Science Fiction, Fantasy and Modern Gothic Novel

This Level 6 module aims to build upon modules on short fiction in Years 1 and 2, allowing students wishing to?specialise?in Beyond Realist fictional genres to develop their skills in narrative, imagery,?characterisation?and theme in a longer narrative form. Beyond Realist genres make particular demands of the writer: the work of ‘world building’ must not suffocate plot development or emotional complexity; and nor should established conventions determine the limits of the writer’s creative choices. Questions of literary experimentation therefore come to the fore, as students make decisions about their own unique approach to science fiction, fantasy and the modern gothic, or hybrids of these and other related genres. Given prescribed reading in all three set genres, and independent research tasks relating to their own chosen specialism, students will be asked to work on the first chapter of a novel; a concise synopsis of the remainder; and a comprehensive appendix of research notes. Students will be encouraged to adopt a set of working methods and habits that assist life-long learning so that the novel may be completed after University. To this end, students will be asked to write a critical paper that demonstrates productive and creative engagement with a novel in their chosen mode that has expanded the imaginative range of their creative practice. Here, students will be asked to make critical insights that demonstrate understanding of relevant and appropriate literary traditions within their chosen field. Together, the two modes of assessment are intended to deepen the reflective and creative techniques fostered in the two previous years of the course.

The Ethics of Reading: Literature in the Twentieth Century

This module will deal with anxieties regarding the relationship between reader and author. Not only will it explore a number of controversial novels, several of which have been banned, restricted or burnt, but will also question the relationship of ethics to literature. Ranging from classic modernist texts to contemporary fiction, this course will provide students with an in-depth literary history of the period, clear connections between the texts studied (chronologically) and a renewed attempt to place theoretical readings in context. It will ask if contemporary literature, and our reading of fiction, has moved beyond the postmodern into a proliferation of reading types that are no longer strictly tied to former modes of critical understanding.

Writing, Environment and Eco-Criticism

This module will offer students the opportunity to explore, very actively, the ways in which contemporary writers and critics engage with images, issues and concepts of the environment. The module explicitly recognises the role of students as producers of new knowledge and understanding. Within the broad theme of the module, students will make their own decisions in determining the exact scope and end points of the module according to their priorities as researchers, but topics covered could include: an examination of the roots of specific literary ideas about the representation of nature; the ways in which contemporary writers deal with issues of environmental crisis; the concept of ‘nature’ and the relationship between the human and the non-human. An exploration of ecocritical theory will be used to frame discussions and to clarify worthwhile end points for the module.?

History in the Graphic Novel

The purpose of this module is for students to critically analyse the representations of history that are found in ‘graphic novels’. Students will analyse the recent theoretical debates on this form of historical representation and they will debate the best strategies to employ to critically analyse sequential art forms, especially their portrayals of history. Two case studies will be adopted. Equipped with a working theoretical understanding students will analyse how artist-writers have depicted post-war USA. Here, special attention is given to the important newsprint work of Schulz and Doonesbury, as well as to influential graphic novelists Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman. These text-image sources will be read so as to analyse how contemporary America is represented and to deconstruct the social assumptions that are implicit in this figuration.?

The Cultural History of Death

This module aims to explore past societies in the longer term, as reflected in British funerary and mortuary evidence.? Students will examine a range of approaches employed in the study of death including history, archaeology, architecture and art, and changing attitudes and practices surrounding death from prehistory to the present.? Death and dying will be used to access wider themes in social and cultural history; e.g. expressions of power and social status, family relations, gender roles and ideas about community, commemoration and space.

British Culture Wars 1800-2000

The module centres on British cultural battles over the last two hundred years. The central theme is the relationship between the state and the citizen, but it also takes into account the role of the family, the decline of the churches and the interplay between liberalism and censorious forces on both right and left. The module will allow students to understand core cultural-political tensions in British history; ranging from the genuinely history to contemporary politics. It will allow students to identify how disputes recur and develop over time and to provide a more nuanced and empirically informed conception of ideas of left and right, conservatism and radicalism, orthodoxy and revision. The module builds on modern British politics and history courses taught at levels 4 and 5. It provides an experience of the processes of cultural history that are also offered at level 7 on the MA in Cultural History, specifically the module, British Cultural History.

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

  • Screenplays
  • Monologues
  • Notebooks
  • Critical Analysis
  • Presentation
  • Treatments
  • Reflective Essays
  • Essays
  • Critical Portfolios
  • Creative Portfolios
  • TV Show Bibles

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Study Abroad

The Department of Humanities provides?an outstanding range of degrees where you are encouraged to study abroad for one or two semesters.

We have partnered up with some of the best universities in the world including our friends in Italy, the oldest University, University of Bologna-Ravenna. The full list of partners today are:

  • University of?Aix-Marseille?(France)
  • Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • University of?Duisburg-Essen?(Germany)
  • University of Wuerzburg (Germany)
  • University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Cadiz University (Spain)
  • University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu and Kuopio (Finland)
  • Karadeniz University (Turkey)
  • St Norberts College (Wisconsin, USA)
  • Mercer University (Georgia, USA)
  • Columbus State University (Georgia, USA)
  • University of Northern Iowa (Iowa, USA)
  • Queens College (New York, USA)
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges (New York, USA)
  • Louisiana State University (Louisiana, USA)
  • Thompson Rivers University (Canada)
  • Rikkyo?University (Japan)

While our students work and study with our partners we welcome their students to our classes as well as supporting academic exchanges for global researchers to connect to our home students.

Please check with your tutor which destinations are most suitable for your degree programme.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this course, please contact us, we will be happy to help.

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