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What Can I Use a Creative Writing Degree For?

The world is changing, and the way we process and consume information is evolving along with it. Never before has being a ‘creative’ been more important.

What does a creative writing degree involve? Plenty, as it covers a diverse range of topics connected to fiction, non-fiction, and plays. Students may explore the intersection of literature and technology, marketing and media, and branding and storytelling. They will also develop a range of skills including researching, reporting, and presenting, as well as critical thinking and analysis.

Why Should You Pursue A Creative Writing Degree?

Fiction, non-fiction, and plays all have a place in the modern world, and they will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future. However, amid the sea of information, it can be hard to break through and get people’s attention. That’s where storytelling comes in.

Whether through a blog post, an article, or a novel, successful storytellers are able to captivate readers and pull them into a narrative that compels them to read on. A creative writing degree will help you develop the skillset needed to become a successful storyteller, capable of weaving a compelling narrative around any compelling event or theme.

What Will You Study?

A bachelor’s degree in creative writing requires you to study a range of topics including writing fiction, non-fiction, and plays, producing and directing, as well as research methods and critical analysis. You will be assessed using a variety of methods including essays, presentations, and creative assignments, and you will be required to complete a final-year project, which could be anything from a short story collection to a full-length play. It’s worth noting that the focus isn’t just on creative writing, as you will also need to study literature, linguistics, and composition, as well as film studies and digital media.

Where Can I Get My Degrees?

To get your degree, you may study online via a decent online learning provider, or you could attend one of the many British universities that offer creative writing degrees. Some of the most reputable universities that offer creative writing degrees are Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Surrey. If you happen to be interested in studying literature, you may want to look into the University of Oxford’s BA (Hons) degree in Creative Writing, which brings together literature and creative writing, or the University of Cambridge’s BA (Hons) in Creative Writing, which is the most established creative writing degree program in the country.

Are you curious as to what a Creative Writing degree involves? Then continue reading about the various aspects of a creative writing curriculum.

Theory & Practice

Before you can start applying what you have learnt, you will need to do some theoretical work. Theory in this context refers to the study of writing, and it forms a vital part of any creative writing curriculum. You will be required to study a variety of theories including contemporary theory, structuralism, post-structuralism, and psychoanalytic theory, as well as past theories such as romanticism and the Victorian ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that governed “the way men behaved towards women, and women towards men” (Gray, 2015, p. 2).

While studying theory, you will actually be doing a bit of practice too. You will need to set yourself a writing task, which will serve as a sort of ‘real life’ fieldwork. It could be as easy as writing a letter to a friend, or perhaps you want to write a novella based on the characters you have previously met in class. Or, for those with a more fanciful bent, you could write a short story that incorporates everything you have learnt so far, and by doing so, test your theoretical knowledge once more.

Introduction To Creative Writing

No matter which route you choose, a degree in creative writing will involve you writing something – be that a short story, a novel, or even a play. This will be done in class, with each student working on a different project, and you will be required to attend regular seminars, workshops, and lectures, where you can further your understanding of theory and practice, as well as meet with tutors and fellow students. As well as this, you will be expected to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities, ranging from publishing journals and online media to attending book launches and other literary events.

Rhetoric & Composition

Speaking and writing are closely linked, and a degree in creative writing will involve you developing your capacity for both. In terms of writing, you will need to write a variety of formal and informal letters, memos, and other formal documents, as well as develop your academic and non-academic editing skills. For those who get a thrill from speaking, this may be done through conference presentations, as well as leading workshops and teaching sessions.

Research & Digital Media

Being able to navigate the world of information and knowledge is extremely important, particularly in today’s world where the line between fact and fiction is increasingly blurred. One of the things that will form the backbone of your final year project will be a substantial research component. You will need to conduct in-depth research into a chosen topic, whether this is an author, a critic, or even a historical figure. You will then need to present this knowledge in an accessible and interesting manner through a variety of digital medias, including blogs, articles, and podcasts.


Being able to edit your work, whether this is done manually or using the various platforms available with Word and other similar programs, is an essential skill for any writer. Having a trained eye to help navigate this process is extremely useful, and a degree in creative writing will involve you meeting regularly with an editor who will help you hone your craft and edit your work, whether it is a draft or a polished final product.

Production & Directing

Whether you aspire to be a novelist, playwright, or short story writer, you will eventually need to learn how to ‘put your thoughts to paper’, as it were. This involves you writing down your ideas, whether these are scenes from novels you are working on or even ideas for a comedy series you are planning to pitch to a television company. It also involves you learning how to use various post-production tools to enhance your work, including sound editing, color correction, and adding special effects.

Marketing & Media

Being able to market yourself is extremely important if you ever want to become a freelance writer, or even run a small blog with a handful of articles. This involves you learning how to effectively ‘market’ yourself both online and off, whether this is through social media, email marketing, or even cold-calling. Being able to navigate the various digital medias available is vital, and a degree in creative writing will teach you how to do this effectively, as well as equip you with the tools needed to do it manually or even programmatically.

Criticism & Analysis

Being able to analyze and assess the work of others is an incredibly important skill for any writer. To do this effectively, you will need to learn how to put yourself in the shoes of a reader, and think like they would, as well as gain the trust of those you are analyzing. Whether you are writing a critical review of a book, or preparing a report for your school’s English department, you will need to learn how to analyze literature, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, and do so in a way that is both insightful and grammatically correct. This involves you studying a range of critical theories including Marxist theory, Freudian theory, and Foucaultian theory. To gain an insight into these theories, you will be studying a variety of authors, from the ‘classics’ to the more contemporary writers, including William Shakespeare, Arthur C Clarke, and Joseph Conrad.

More Details

If you want to know exactly what a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing entails, then continue to read the fine print. Alternatively, if you have already found the information you were looking for, why not dive into a university’s website to see what courses are available, as well as what opportunities there are for you to gain some extra-curricular activities? Good luck out there.