2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Film Studies

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

3 years

UCAS code:

WW86

Points required:

112

Campus:

Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
Placement (home student):
£1,850
Placement (international student):
£3,650
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

APSadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk

International enquiries

international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

Why study Creative Writing and Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • Study the history of film and make short digital films
  • Professional guidance and peer support to help you develop your writing to publishable standard
  • Three-day residential writers' retreat at a country house in rural Wales
  • Teaching is based in the £38m Redmonds Building in Liverpool City Centre
  • Liverpool has more theatres, cinemas, literary events, arts centres, galleries and museums than any city outside London

About your course

As a student on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University you will taught by internationally published poets, novelists and film industry professionals.

As the degree progresses, you will be able to specialise in screenwriting and will produce scripts for short films and longer dramas as well as learning to write treatments and pitch your ideas to a professional standard. We also teach the history and practice of film criticism and interpretation. While our emphasis is on the academic study of film, you will also be able to work with industry-standard cameras and editing software to create an impressive portfolio of your own.

In addition to formally taught courses, we provide opportunities for work-based learning as well as encouraging independent research in almost any area of Film Studies and in your final year you will be able to undertake an option in freelance writing and/or production.

This degree combines critical study of film and written texts with practice in prose, poetry, screenwriting and digital film production. As the degree progresses, you will be able to specialise in screenwriting and produce your own scripts for short films and longer dramas as well as learning to write treatments and pitch your ideas to a professional standard.

On top of learning about the history and practice of film criticism and interpretation, you can also get some hands-on experience, working with industry-standard cameras and editing software to create an impressive portfolio of your own. 

Liverpool Screen School, where the course it taught is based in the £38million Redmonds Building, in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool City Centre.

You will have plenty of opportunities to hone your writing and production techniques: everyone on the course attends a residential writing retreat in Snowdonia in the first year, and towards the end of your studies you will be expected to produce near-professional standard short films.

"This degree was the first time I had direct academic support towards becoming a filmmaker. Since graduating, I have received two short film commissions from The UK Film Council and I am currently co-writing a spec feature for North West Vision."

Aubrey Reynolds, graduate

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students

Fees

The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)

Money

  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

Funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Employability

This Creative Writing and Film Studies BA (Hons) degree course has a strong vocational dimension and opens up an exciting range of potential career paths.

Alongside the skills you will gain in writing to publishable standard and film production practice, the course equips you with an understanding of media processes that could be applied to careers in public relations, advertising, corporate communications, cultural journalism, research and the film and television industries.

Many of our graduates have gone on to work in the film and television industries as writers, directors, researchers and actors. Some have become independent filmmakers or work for companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Envy Postproduction, FACT, Hurricane Pictures, Lime Pictures, Soapbox and Sony. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate study at MA and PhD level or have become teachers, journalists and editors.

Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Applicant key information

Course review and revalidation.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

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What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 4

Core modules

Film Language
20 credits

Film Language will introduce you to the key formal and aesthetic properties of film. You will learn different components of filmmaking, such as cinematography, editing, lighting, music, sound and mise-en-scene. This module will equip you with the fundamental tools for close textual analysis and basic elements of academic essay writing.

Introduction to Filmmaking A
20 credits

This module will introduce you to the basic principles of single camera factual filmmaking and introduce you to the organisation, planning, management and production of factual film.

Film Criticism
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop critical skills in film studies by outlining the different critical approaches to cinema. You will investigate textual criticism, identity politics and various other interpretive paradigms.

Introduction to Poetry
20 credits

This module aims to establish your core knowledge of poetry, encouraging you to look beyond your previous study and embrace what poetry can be in all its different mediums and forms. The emphasis will be on instruction and development of knowledge, and guest speakers and readings will illuminate your experience further.

Introduction to Scriptwriting
20 credits

This module is designed to introduce you to the differing demands of scriptwriting for three major dramatic genres – screen, stage and radio. It introduces you to the formats used in these three forms and encourages you to engage with the process of visual, verbal and aural storytelling in relation to the same.

Introduction to Prose
20 credits

In this module, you will be tested on your ability to write using accurate and appropriate contemporary language, techniques and devices. You will scrutinise published writers' narrative strategies for important aspects of form, techniques and devices in prose, explore the links between critical and creative writing, and join in with discussion, debate and exercises.

Level 5

Core modules

American Cinema
20 credits

The module offers an overview of historical developments in American cinema from the silent period to the present, highlighting key industrial, technological and aesthetic transformations in its history. It explores the concepts of classical and postclassical cinema, and assesses their usefulness for understanding the recurring group characteristics of American cinema. It focuses on both mainstream and Independent films, and explores the changing social and industrial landscape in which they are produced, distributed and exhibited, and the effects of these changes on the form and style of the films.

Optional modules

Film Adaptation
20 credits

In this module you will investigate the relationship between film and source texts such as novels, comic books, graphic novels, scripts, plays, computer games, other films etc. You will also explore the theoretical issues surrounding the relationship of form to content in narrative fiction film as they are highlighted in the process of adaptation, to facilitate the adaptation of a text into a film script.

Experimental Filmmaking
20 credits

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience, planning and managing a short film production. You will be able to develop specific skills in the areas of cinematography, lighting and sound design, as well as post production skills in editing and colour grading.

Short Filmmaking
20 credits

Through practice-based learning, you will learn to plan, manage and produce a short film and develop the technical skills associated with filmmaking.

European Cinema
20 credits

This module serves as an introduction to the range and variety of films produced in Europe, and their industrial contexts. It highlights the diversity of cinematic production in Europe, focusing not only on different national traditions, but also on the fact that European cinemas consist both of art and popular films.

Working in Film
20 credits

The aim of this module is to give you an understanding of the working practices and organisation of the British film industry in the sectors of film funding, production, distribution and exhibition. It allows you to develop a personal career experience plan to aid future employment.

Audiovisual Essay
20 credits

This module provides a framework for you to develop a critical awareness of film studies and provides the analytical, reflexive, scholarly and practical skills to produce an audio-visual essay. You will use and explore digital technologies in order to investigate their objects of study, using the material itself to ask questions of the medium.

Screen 1
20 credits

This module aims to further develop your awareness of screen language in relation to screenwriterly concerns and encourage you to examine the narrative devices and structures inherent in film and television productions. It will also encourage you to develop your own storytelling skills.

Treatment and Screenplay
20 credits

This module will develop your skills in structuring and writing a treatment and a screenplay. It will encourage individual development of filmic storytelling skills in a critical, supportive environment in preparation for the longer stories you will develop and write in Level 6 Screenwriting modules.

The Fantastic
20 credits

This module engages you in the study of fantasy, horror and science fiction literature and related arts. This has proven the most popular genre amongst undergraduate students and the module provides an opportunity for specialisation in this area. You will produce original, creative work informed by your studies, and present it to your classmates and tutors for formative feedback and further development.

Approaching Your Novel
20 credits

Clearly, a novel can not be completed in one semester, but you should be left with an awareness of what is required to make this huge leap from short story writing. You will emerge with a proposal for its completion and a deeper understanding of what method best suits you to live with, revise, complete and place a book.

Short Prose
20 credits

In this module you will acquire a deepening understanding of some of the forms which prose takes and learn to write a piece of original prose within a chosen form. You will study examples of short fiction and literary non-fiction, learning some of the key techniques involved. Then, you will reflect on your reading and your own creative processes.

Poetry Writing Workshop:Form and Substance
20 credits

In this module you will focus on structural and technical aspects of poetry and on questions of subject-matter and source material, using examples of modern and contemporary poetry. You will look at students' poems in workshops, analysing them technically, providing feedback, and focusing on the specific uses of form and language.

Short Story One
20 credits

This module is designed to develop your ability to craft short stories and to broaden your independent reading, honing the ability to read as a writer. It will improve both the identification and understanding of elements of fiction-writing craft and encourage reading as a writer in greater depth. You will develop the habit of writing prescriptively (via set writing exercises that enhance your understanding of the writer's craft) and independently. You will also develop a heightened awareness of your poetics and be able to reflect on the reading that shapes your writing.

Dramatic Writing for Radio and Stage
20 credits

In this module you will workshop your script for either radio or stage in tutor-led sessions, offering and receiving constructive criticism, reading, and performing scenes from your developing scripts. We will focus on structural and technical aspects of both forms and analyse the differences and transferable skills between the two mediums.

Level 6

Core modules

Prose Portfolio 1
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage you to use the technical, cognitive and narrative skills you have acquired to produce a writing portfolio and reflection, using your own strengths and those of the community of writers of which you are a part. As the workshops are based each week on prepared readings of peer students' draft work, suggestions for wider reading and giving thoughtful and detailed critiques mean that your individual contribution is of great importance. The portfolio may consist of fiction or literary non-fiction. 

Optional modules

World Cinema
20 credits

This module will provide an overview of world cinema so that you can examine cinemas of the world historically and aesthetically, developing an understanding of films from different cultural contexts.

Prose Portfolio 2
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage you to use the technical, cognitive and narrative skills you have acquired to produce a writing portfolio and reflection, using your own strengths and those of the community of writers of which you are a part. As the workshops are based each week on prepared readings of peer students' draft work, suggestions for wider reading and giving thoughtful and detailed critiques mean that your individual contribution is of great importance. The portfolio may consist of fiction or literary non-fiction. 

Independent Study in Creative Writing
20 credits

This module allows you to pursue an individually devised creative project in Creative Writing at an advanced level. The module provides you with an opportunity to pursue a project which is not accommodated elsewhere in the programme. The project will follow an interest of yours, and of your own devising, with tutor support.

Final Film Pre-Production
10 credits

Within this module, you will learn approaches to pre-production and planning skills for fiction, documentary, and experimental film. You will also demonstrate how to compile a film proposal portfolio and explain how films are commonly pitched to a film industry audience.

The Writer at Work
20 credits

In this module you will be given instruction on a wide-range of freelance possibilities and professional occupations open to a writer. In group discussions and 'troubleshooting' sessions you will develop your critical faculties by offering advice to your peers. You will devise and develop a work-based learning project which takes your skills as a writer out into a public-facing position or role, creating a detailed plan of your ideal project. You will also research organisations currently working in a similar area to your interest, producing a case-study of one such organisation.

Final Film Production
20 credits

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of some of the technical equipment required for short video production at an advanced level with either fiction or non-fiction filmmaking.

The Writer at Work: The Project
20 credits

In this module you will be given instruction on a wide-range of freelance possibilities and ways that writers can earn a living by using their skills. In group discussions and 'troubleshooting' sessions you will develop your critical faculties by offering advice to your peers. You will deliver a work-based learning project which takes your skills as a writer out into a public-facing position or role. You will produce a writer’s CV, or showcase document, which you can use with employers after you graduate.

Interpretation in Film
20 credits

In this module you will explore historical and contemporary approaches to film interpretation. You will be able to critically examine and evaluate approaches to film interpretation so that you can engage with the serious analysis of film.

Poetry Writing Workshop : Advanced Poetry 1
20 credits

This module will focus on in-depth critiquing of students' work, asking you to consider how to disassemble, rebuild and improve your own and classmate’s work. Discussions and reading material will centre around discussion of your own writing processes. Guest masterclasses and readings from leading contemporary poets will be utilized to give you a wider and richer learning experience.

Dissertation
30 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to research and conduct an in depth written study in any approved subject in Film Studies.

Poetry Writing Workshop:Advanced Poetry 2
20 credits

In this module you will continue to workshop each other’s work, with encouragement towards robust and intellectual insights into your peers' work. Class discussions will centre on how best you might articulate your own poetic practice in ways which will benefit your own development. A series of masterclasses and guest-readings will continue to expose you to the best in contemporary poetry, and you will be exposed to the professional world of poetry, gaining insights on how and where to submit your work.

Mixed Media Research Project
30 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to explore the relationship between theory and practice to be able to research in depth on a specific topic of your own choice.

Work Based Learning
20 credits

This module will provide you with the opportunity to widen your direct knowledge of working practices in a media-related field, to widen your contacts and to apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt throughout the course. It also encourages you to develop transferrable skills relevant to the world of work.

Digital Writing
20 credits

This module enables you to develop an understanding of writing for digital platforms and skillsets necessary to produce digital content. Over the semester you will not only discover the creative possibilities of writing for online platforms but also the career opportunities in this field of writing. You will look at diverse areas of text and writing online, from media characters portrayed in social networking, to bloggers, viral campaigns and participatory projects to location based storytelling.

Advanced Scriptwriting
20 credits

In this module you will examine the relevant genres in detail in workshop sessions, using current examples and with input from visiting professionals. You will be required to use relevant formats, complete storylines/treatments, and drafts of script extracts to deadlines. 

Script Portfolio
20 credits

The portfolio module is the last step before you become a fully independent writer or move on to Masters level. In this module, you are encouraged to use the work-shopping skills that you have developed over the previous five semesters to give and receive constructive criticism in peer-led sessions as well as tutor-led work groups. You will be encouraged to independently evaluate each other’s scripts through the drafting and redrafting of a 30-45 minute film or TV series episode, radio play or stage play.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies.  Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching is delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars, online activities, writing workshops, film screenings and production group work. We make extensive use of our virtual learning environment, Canvas, to provide course information, further reading and peer interaction. 
 

Work-related Learning

You will have opportunities to complete professional work experience in both Level 5 and 6. The Writer at Work module in your final year also gives you a chance to step inside the writer’s world by pursuing your own project. This could be anything from organising a poetry festival to placing the idea for a novel with a literary agent, or planning the production of a film. Alternatively you can take up a work placement in your chosen field.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

From the moment you begin your studies at LJMU, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will provide one-to-one support over the three years of the course. Their role is to give you feedback on how well you are progressing with your studies and encourage you to plan for your educational and career development.

Assessment

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

We acknowledge that all students perform differently according to the type of assessment they are given, and so you will be assessed by a combination of coursework, exams and group productions. Coursework includes essays, reviews, individual and group presentations, individual and group critical self-evaluation, logbooks, self-reflective group portfolios, research exercises, individual work-based learning reports and dissertations. Exams may be seen or unseen and may include class tests. Group productions of audio-visual artefacts include photo-storyboards, vox-pops, and factual and fictional video productions.

Your tutors will provide feedback on your assessments within 15 working days of submission and you will receive regular feedback on draft creative work submitted to workshops. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Sarah Maclennan

Sarah Maclennan

Programme leader 

Sarah gained a BA and MA with LJMU, then worked for Property Services and Student Support.  She has taught at LJMU since 2006, and is now the Programme Leader in Creative Writing.  In 2013, Sarah won an LJMU Amazing Teaching Award. Sarah is a founder member of the Merseyside Literature Partnership, and is a trustee of a small arts organisation that promotes poetry in Merseyside.

The third year Writer at Work module, unique to LJMU, gives you a chance to step inside the writer’s world by pursuing your own project, be it organising a poetry festival, placing the idea for a novel with a literary agent, or planning the production of a film.

Facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, TV studios, radio suites, green screen, editing rooms and news rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 112


GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:

  • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths
  • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
  • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
  • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/ English
  • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
  • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM is required if no other level 3 qualifications are taken

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: At least 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits, or any other combination that equates to 112 UCAS Tariff points in a relevant subject

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum 20 UCAS Tariff points from Ordinary Level

Alternative qualifications considered

​Applications are welcomed from mature and non standard applicants who will be considered on an individual basis.These applicants should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience and may be required to submit an essay and/or attend an interview.

International Applicants:We welcome overseas applicants who will be considered in line with UK requirements.

Will I be interviewed?

Mature and non-standard applicants may be invited to attend interview

IELTS

6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each component)

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

​We are looking for students with a critical and practical enthusiasm for the written arts and media in general and film, publishing and performance in particular.

The kind of essential skills that you will need to include in your application are:You will be able to work on your own or as part of a group.Good communication skills, as you will be expected to contribute to seminars, workshops and give presentations.Good analytical skills, so that you can critically assess films and written textsYou have an enthusiasm for film and reading and writing.
Desirable Skills:Information retrieval techniques, as you will be expected to read around the subject and draw upon your findings for essays and projects.Time management, as you will have to work to deadlines on a regular basis.Good IT skills, as you will be expected to submit work that has been word processed.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.