The Student Room Group

Universities for English literature with creative writing

I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.

I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.

I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.
Original post by Hannah_Hodgson
I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.
I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.
I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.

I have a friend that's going to durham for English, so maybe worth giving that a look?
Original post by hannah_hodgson
I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.
I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.
I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.

Hi! I'm coming to the end of my first year as an English Literature and Creative Writing student at Lancaster! It's a campus uni with a small town. It's really peaceful and there's almost everything you need on campus-a Costa, another café called Coastal, a Subway, a Greggs, a Chinese restaurant, Sultans which does all sorts including kebabs, Pizzetta which is a restaurant renowned for its pizzas. Campus is very green and beautiful, especially at this time of year!

There's a massive library, which is helpful when studying-it has four floors but students only tend to use three of them. There's silent rooms in the library and a literal tree, plus a green wall! The Student Union is opposite, in the main bit called Alexander Square. There's also a WHSmith's, an on-campus cinema called Take2Cinema, a post office, a Spar and on the South Campus, the Student Union Shop (LUSU Shop, also known as Central). There's also a park and pharmacy on campus and a medical centre.

The uni is a bus ride from town where there's a Sainsbury's, Tesco Express and an Aldi/ Lidl, which is really convenient! It's next to a beautiful canal, too.

We have a big sports hall, including a swimming pool. We have an underpass below the library where you can get on the bus, and several other bus stops dotted around campus. We have a student radio, student newspaper and student TV, and over two hundred societies! We get ducks on campus as we have two or three ponds. There's eight undergraduate colleges: on North campus, there's County, Bowland, Fylde and Furness. On South campus, there's Grizedale, Pendle, Lonsdale, Cartmel and Graduate college (for post-grads). I'm in Pendle ensuite accommodation, and I love it!

There's a bus station, two small shopping centres (St Nics and Marketgate), and there's markets, restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, two clubs (Vibe and Sugar), roughly two churches and several charity shops. There's a doctor's about halfway to town as well as the infirmary hospital, and Williamson Park. There's a KFC and McDonald's if fast food is your thing, but there's more high-end places too (so-called). There's a Lush and in Marketgate, a Waterstones! You can get a bus from Primark back to uni, which takes twenty minutes.

As for the course itself, it's really interesting! I'll start with English Literature. You start on decolonisation, looking at Oronooko, Arrow of God, The Tempest and diaspora poetry, and then you look at Orlando, Mary Barton, Paul Muldoon, Wife of Bath and a whole variety of other texts! You have two lectures a week and a seminar, but you're expected to do primary and secondary reading outside of class and answer study questions each week, which are discussed in said seminars.

There's no exams in first year. You submit an essay plan, an essay and a presentation in the first term (which is eleven weeks long including Fresher's Week, October 1st approximately until mid-December). In the second term, you submit a second essay and two online tests that you do together, and in the third term you undertake a creative group project and write a critical essay about it afterwards.

In Creative Writing, you start workshopping in the first term. You submit your work for feedback and give feedback to others. Everyone is really nice and nobody is ever mean about another person's work, from my experience. You do receive constructive criticism from your peers and your seminar tutor alongside positive feedback though, as is to be expected.

At the start of the second term, you submit a two to three poems or 1000 words of prose roughly, as a prelude to your second, bigger project. You'll have been working towards this during the first term, and in the second and third term and over Easter, you'll work on your bigger project. Your bigger project is due at the end of May, and will be 3600 to 4000 words of prose or 8 to 10 poems.

You can also do scriptwriting but I just can't remember the equivalent right now. You do have to redraft them based off feedback and ideally redraft as you write, but it's not the end of the world if you don't! You also have Creative Writing lectures twice a week, giving you valuable writing advice from experts in their field.

If you do it as a joint degree like me, you'll also have to pick a minor subject to take for just the First Year which you'll have to pass (a pass is only 40 percent though, don't worry). My minor is in Moral and Political Philosophy, which I really enjoy. But you can minor in World Lit, which is like English Lit and is ran by the English Literature and Creative Writing (ELCW) department! It's up to you what you minor in, though. Some people minor in a foreign language, or politics, or something like history or film. It's based on your strengths and interests! You also get a lot of choice with your creative project and essay and test questions in English Literature, and your Creative Project.

There's quite a few literary and writing events on. At the Herbarium, a restaurant in town, they run an Open Mic called the Wordarium every month, where you can watch people perform their poetry, and even perform some yourself if you'd like! I have before, and I loved it. They also have events at The Storey, which is located next to the Castle (yes, there's a Castle and also a Maritime Museum and a Cathedral). There's the LU Living Poet’s Society and the Writer's Soc, which both run socials, informal writing sessions and Open Mics! You can even write for the Theatre Society. The department at Lancaster also run events, and Litfest runs every year in Lancaster! The library do too sometimes.

I've really enjoyed it so far and I can't wait for next year!!! I would seriously recommend coming here if you can. It's a great course with lots to offer, and there's plenty to do outside of your studies as the uni is always running events!!! Roses is pretty infamous and we just won it! It's a sporting event but I was a member of the Student media who helped run it and it was so fun!!! I've made a lot of awesome friends within my college, and some of us are living together in town next year. The campus is very green and safe, and each college has its own bar. I feel at home here and couldn't be happier. It's commutable by bus, train and car.

Going to Lancaster has been one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I'd recommend doing an Open Day at the very least, to look around. It's understandable if you come here and don't like the vibes, but I've completely fallen in love with it.

If you have any other questions about Lancaster or my other uni choices, or studying English Literature and Creative Writing generally, please feel free to reply to this or DM me! Have a great day, and best of luck with choosing unis! 🩷

~Lydia
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Hannah_Hodgson
I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.
I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.
I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.

Hi there,

It's great that you are considering such good places for your studies!

Choosing the right university is indeed a significant decision, and I completely understand the challenges involved. I faced a similar situation when deciding on my PhD program. While I'm not in your field (I'm in biology), I can share some general factors that helped me make my decision.

Department reputation: Consider the reputation of the department and the amount of research conducted. A strong academic standing not only improves the quality of education but also sends a positive signal to future employers. Most of the UEA lecturers are fellows of the Higher Education Academy, which means that they have an extra pedagogical qualification on the top of their PhD, making the teaching exceptionally good.

Career support services: Look into the career support services offered by each university. UEA, for example, is known for its excellent CareerCentral support, providing various resources and incentives to build your CV and cover letter. For example they have an award based scheme that helps you build your CV and prepares you for interviews. Their connections with alumni can also open doors to valuable opportunities.

Location and atmosphere: The city itself plays a crucial role in your overall experience. Norwich, where UEA is located, is renowned for its beauty and vibrant atmosphere, it's the city of literature. It offers a pleasant environment for studying, with numerous charming coffee shops and easy access to the seaside.

While the decision you're about to make may seem daunting, always remember that you have the power to create the opportunities at whatever university you choose to study. Having studied at three different universities Middlesex University London, UCL, and currently UEA I've found that each institution provided unique opportunities that contributed to my personal and professional development.

I wish you all the best in making your decision. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to discuss any of this further.

Best,
Daniel
Original post by Hannah_Hodgson
I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.
I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.
I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.

Hi there!

This is the perfect place for your post! I am currently studying creative writing at Edge Hill University and love it. I also have a few friends who study English literature with creative writing so that is definitely an option.

In terms of where the uni is, we are in the small market town of Ormskirk. I think it's perfect as there are plenty of shops in the centre (Morrisons, Boots, Waterstones etc) and cafes/bars too so you can get what you need but it also has a very small community feel to it. Liverpool is only a 30 minute train journey away too if you ever wanted to go out. When I was looking at unis I didn't want to be in a big city too so Ormskirk is great for me.

I really enjoy my course and if you want to do the joint honours, you have a good amount of choice once you get to second and third year with what modules you would like to take. We sometimes have authors coming in to do talks with us and we have a little creative writing room we can use with a free swap library and the space to write in our own time.

Do you have any questions about the course content or anything else? I'd be happy to answer anything!

Emily
Second Year Creative Writing Student
Original post by Hannah_Hodgson
I've never posted on a forum before so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place but I'm unsure where to apply for university. I am in year 12 and my school is yet to give me predicted grades, but I've been looking at unis for English literature with creative writing, and so far Lancaster and UEA are standing out to me.
I wouldn't want to go to university in a big city (small city/town would be fine), so I have also been trying to take this into account when I've been looking.
I was just wondering if anyone has been to these unis and has any opinions on them, and if there is anywhere else that I have not considered that is particularly good for English and creative writing.

Hi there!

I see that a student from Lancaster already responded and gave a really good in-depth view of Lancaster as a whole, the university and even your intended course. However, I will try my best to give a few more information on the support you can receive from the university and your course.

Every student has an academic advisor that is basically a point of contact for issues you are having while at university, mainly academic, but also extending towards any personal issues you are having that affect how you study, meet up with deadlines or balance your work and life schedules.

They can be very helpful in giving advice on how to manage your time and your work, and could also recommend and assist you in applying for extensions, learning support plans etc if you find you need one.

If you have more specific questions about Lancaster, feel free to ask. If you would also like to talk with someone currently studying your course, I have included a link to the Ask a Student page where you can find someone to talk with.

https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/chat/

Best wishes,
Lancaster University Student Ambassador,
Glory.

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