2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) Creative Writing with Foundation Year

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

4 years

UCAS code:

CWFY

Points required:

72

Campus:

Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
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

Send a message >

Why study Creative Writing with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • Foundation Year programme introduces you to higher education study with an introductory year to prepare you to enter the first year of an honours degree programme
  • VISIT LAST YEAR'S LIVERPOOL SCREEN SCHOOL DEGREE SHOW
  • Opportunities to meet practising writers, publishers, agents, producers and directors
  • Professional guidance and peer support to help you develop your writing to publishable standard
  • Regular literary events, readings, screenings and open mic nights to showcase your work
  • Three-day residential writers' retreat at a country house in rural Wales
  • Participate in the production of our student magazine, In the Red

About your course

As a student on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University you will hear from prestigious visiting writers who regularly deliver readings and workshops. Recent guests have included Ramsay Campbell, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Rebecca Goss, James Rice, Helen Mort, and Eimear McBride

At LJMU, which developed the UK’s first Single Honours Creative Writing course, we put an emphasis on a writer’s career and take special care to instil not just the craft but also the practical approaches needed to become a professional writer. All our staff are published authors, and the Creative Writing university textbooks we have produced are used worldwide.

During this degree, you will study prose, poetry and scriptwriting in your first year and go on to specialise in the disciplines that challenge you the most to produce your best work. Our acclaimed Writer at Work module engages specialists in digital publishing, arts-in-health and literature development and other areas giving you an in-depth understanding as well as experience of the writer’s professional world. You will hear guest lectures from eminent writers throughout your studies. Recent guests have included: Ramsay Campbell, Rebecca Goss, Cathleen Miller, Wayne Holloway-Smith, James Rice, Stuart Harcourt, Helen Stringer and Dr Jenny Newman.


The degree is taught in our £38 million Redmonds Building, located in the heart Liverpool, a vibrant  student city, renowned for its cultural events, readings, music events and art galleries. 

Teaching by our expert academic team is enhanced by prestigious visiting writers from the worlds of prose, poetry and scriptwriting who deliver readings or workshops.

The Creative Writing residential in Snowdonia, which takes place towards the start of the first term, is a chance to participate in a writing retreat that will kick-start your creativity. It also allows you to get to know your peers and tutors. 

In The Red, the student-run magazine of the Creative Writing department, regularly hosts student readings and open mic nights where you can hone your performance skills. Each year, three final year students take over the editorship of the magazine.

"I've really enjoyed my experience as a student. I've learnt what it's like to live as a writer, and not just a person who writes. The tutors were friendly and gifted, and I felt lucky to be studying with such experienced writers. LJMU has been vital in establishing a network of writers that I can carry throughout my career."

Lew Kelly, graduate

Professional accreditation/links

Liverpool has a strong cultural and literary tradition and LJMU is proud to have connections with many local arts institutions such as Tate Liverpool, FACT, the Everyman and the Bluecoat.

Our connections go much wider than Liverpool however: staff and students have had novels, short stories and poetry published by leading UK and international houses, and radio plays, short films and features broadcast and screened in the UK, Europe and America.

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 BA Creative Writing Foundation year degree will prepare you for careers in journalism, teaching, publishing and the book trade, broadcasting and postgraduate study.

Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of careers including:   

  • broadcasting
  • business
  • copywriting (in advertising and social media)
  • journalism
  • marketing
  • proofreading and editing
  • publishing
  • teaching
  • website authoring

Some have also become professional writers and had their work filmed, staged, published and performed.

This degree also offers direct progression routes onto our MA Writing and MA Screenwriting courses, where you can further develop your writing.

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.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

News and views

Browse through the latest stories and updates from the University and beyond

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 3

Core modules

Media Literacies
20 credits

In this module you will be introduced to the vocabularies and conventions of the different media and creative subjects. You will practice the use of this vocabulary and develop your critical thinking and analytical skills through the production of a blog, exercises for which will be set during the semester.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating the City
20 credits

In this module you will explore historical and cultural aspects of Liverpool, including trips to develop knowledge. It enables you to develop skills to produce an academic piece of writing to prepare for Level 4. 

Creative Notebook
20 credits

In this module you will be introduced to academic staff in the Liverpool Screen School who will, each week, share personal passions and show how these have driven their research, writing and production profiles. You will be set smaller learning tasks driven by these specific interests in order to broaden knowledge and its practical applications. These tasks will form the content of the creative notebook. You will be encouraged to identify, consider and explore your own passions, potentially developing new enthusiasms as your experiences are widened.

Media Landscapes
20 credits

In this module you will be introduced to local organisations and companies and will be equipped with a broad understanding of the media, creative industries and organisations allied to the subjects covered by the Foundation course. This module enables you to study one of these organisations in depth, considering its history and contemporary purpose. You will also develop basic research and report-writing skills.

Creative Project
20 credits

This module enables you to develop subject specialist and collaborative creative practice through the opportunity to create a performance/media event in response to a given stimulus theme. You will also be provided vocabularies and strategies for reflection on, and evaluation of, individual creative practice.

Level 4

Core modules

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.

Consuming Passions
20 credits

This module introduces you to the Creative Writing Team's research expertise and culture, giving you the opportunity to benefit from research informed teaching at the very earliest stage in your university academic life. The course will be divided into sessions led by different tutors, and each will pick a particular subject or technique for which they hold a passion that informs their own approach to creative writing – in which they have a market specialism or specific interest. Sessions might concern fashion, food, puppets, or narrative song-writing. You will be encouraged to widen your interests in the given subjects, move outside familiar and existing interests, and thus research and develop creative work from these new experiences.

Myth
20 credits

This module is designed to place current creative writing approaches within a historical and cross-cultural context. It enables you to make connections between your own experiences and wider structures of meaning. It develops your use of research to inspire and influence creative writing. Visiting lecturers who deliver sessions on, for example, The Underworld will provide a range of voices and approaches that enhances the learning experience.

Observation and Discovery
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage you to develop good writerly habits and to reflect on your own development as a practising writer. It focuses on the use of your environment (the city of Liverpool) as a source and inspiration for writing, via observation, reflection and research. It allows you the freedom to write across genres and to develop your own voice, while focusing on the importance of accurate observation and critical self-reflection. The module also works to foster a sense of group identity via seminars and group work. 

Level 5

Core modules

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.

Optional modules

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Your studies will be divided between formal study in the form of lectures, workshops and tutorials, reading, writing, online activities and completing independent study tasks.

You will engage in intensive writing practice and extensive reading and interact with a community of published and performed writers. 

The programme will help you to develop your creative skills as well as the intellectual and analytical skills to improve your work. 

You will have a chance to showcase your work at regular literary events, readings, screenings and open mic nights at FACT, The Everyman, Tate Liverpool and the Bluecoat.

Work-related Learning

Through the Production Unit of the Liverpool Screen School (PULSS), there are work experience opportunities with Writing on the Wall, Sound City, and digital marketing companies that are connected directly or indirectly to your future writing career.

The third year Writer at Work module 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.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

Together with your tutors and fellow students, you will become part of a supportive and creative writing community that continually learns from and inspires each other. The course has a real ethos of aspiration and achievement and you will be encouraged throughout to be the very best writer that you can, with continual feedback on your work from tutors or peers.

The writers’ residential in Wales and the many readings and literary events organised by the university are particularly valuable for this reason.

Your final year is the time when you have to really refine your work and take responsibility for your own writing future, and with this in mind you will be encouraged to use your tutors in the role of publisher, producer, script editor or agent.

Assessment

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

Around 50% of your coursework will be original creative work such as a portfolio or project and 50% will be essays, commentaries, class-contributions, peer critiques, pitches, presentations, learning logs, group work, treatments, journals or class tests. You will normally be given two or three different assessment tasks per module. In your final year, your creative work or project will normally account for 70% of the course with the remaining 30% taking the form of critical commentary or reflective analysis.

Your tutors will provide feedback on assessments within 15 working days, but they will also provide constructive feedback on draft creative work throughout the course. You will have the guidance of a personal tutor with whom you can discuss your marks and overall personal and/or academic progress at any time. Peer review is also an important aspect of this course and is actively encouraged.

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, she 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: 72


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: DDD
  • 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: DM if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS Tariff points when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMP if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS Tariff points when combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: At least 24 Merits and 21 Passes, or any other combination that equates to 72 UCAS Tariff points in a relevant subject

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 72 UCAS Tariff points from IB Composite parts, or in combination with other Level 3 qualifications

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: 72 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum 20 UCAS Tariff points from Ordinary Level

Alternative qualifications considered

​International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

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

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 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

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 entry requirements.

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.