For this degree, you will devote two thirds of your time to the area of English and one third to creative writing. The two strands of the course are strongly connected: your developing knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of English will inform your creative writing practice, and vice versa. The English strand of the course is varied and wide-ranging, including literature, language and drama. The first year parallels the core modules for the other English single honours programmes; in the second and final years you will have increasing flexibility to choose your preferred areas of specialisation. The creative writing strand of the course is designed to develop your writing skills, and your insight into the process of writing.
During the course, you will have contact with a variety of creative writing professionals and practitioners, including a recently-appointed writer in residence, so that you can benefit from their professional skills, knowledge and experience.
You will also have the opportunity for hands-on editing and collating experience in the development of the literary journal for creative writing, The Letters Page.
You will study core modules which introduce you to prose, poetry and drama from the medieval period to the modern day, and to aspects of English language from the beginnings of English to contemporary and applied aspects of linguistics. This will give you a solid grounding in each of the different areas which make up 'Nottingham English'.
The first year module, Creative Writing Practice, acts as a foundation, introducing you to the process of writing poetry and fiction by engaging in a variety of forms of reading and writing practice. The focus in poetry includes emphasis on imagery, line and metre, and poetic form; the fiction content includes looking at character, narrative and point of view.
You will be encouraged from the outset to experiment with a range of techniques and strategies, to create new work and to develop the capacity to reflect on this work in a disciplined and rigorous fashion - an essential skill in creative writing.
You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which will either enable you to continue study in all the areas of English encountered in year one, or to begin to specialise according to your particular interests in literature, language or drama and performance.
Creative writing will be taught within two specialist modules: Creative Writing: Craft and Creative Writing: Pages and Stages. These will expand on the work done in year one, including such elements as finding/shaping/ reworking material; adaptation; research and the archive; location and setting; characterisation and representation; registers of language, rhythm and speech; mood and atmosphere; and dramatic dialogue and dramatic action. You will build up a portfolio of work over these two years through a variety of assignments.
You will choose three options from a very wide selection of specialist modules: at this stage, you may wish to concentrate entirely on one area of literature, language or drama, or continue to study any combination of these - the choice is yours.
You will also take the module, Advanced Writing Practice, in which you will be able to focus on the areas of writing which are of most interest to you.
You then have the choice of taking the module Creativity and Language or Digital Story: Craft and Technique.
Your final module will be a dissertation in creative writing, which will allow you to concentrate on an extended piece of creative work in your chosen medium - either fiction, poetry or drama – with the help of regular supervisory sessions with your creative writing tutor.