2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Film Studies

Start date:
September
Study mode:
Full-time
Course duration:
3 years
Campus:
Mt Pleasant
UCAS Code:
WW86

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
£9,250
International full-time per year
£17,750
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
courses@ljmu.ac.uk
International admissions
international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

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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
  • Creative writing at LJMU ranked 5th in the UK (The Times Good University Guide 2024)

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 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.

  • Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Creative Writing

    Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Creative Writing

  • Watch our 2022 Creative Writing showcase

    Watch our 2022 Creative Writing showcase

"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)
  • 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

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.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

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

What you will study on this degree

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

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

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

Level 4

Core modules

Observation and Discovery
20 credits

The module encompasses intercultural and boundary spanning skills, professionalwritten and spoken communication and collaboration between students as they areintroduced to workshopping techniques.

Character & Story
20 credits

The module explores the building blocks of character development and character driven story lines through various forms of writing and requires the student to evidence a variety of research skills and evidence professional written and communication skills, and collaboration between students as they are introduced to workshopping techniques.

Language and Craft
20 credits

As with other Level 4 modules, this module is is designed to encourage consistentengagement, with smaller assessment items that build on each other in terms ofattention to language and form, providing both summative and formative feedback.This module aims to develop student skills in textual analysis and academic writingskills.

Film Language
20 credits

In studying film language students will gain key foundational skills in practising in textual analysis in relation to film.

Film Theory
20 credits

This course surveys the history of the various traditions of theoretical inquiry in film studies. We investigate textual criticism (formalism, structuralism and auteur theory), identity politics, (feminism, masculinity, queer and disability theory and race) and various other theoretical paradigms.

Production Skills
20 credits

Through a series of lectures and practical workshops students will be introduced to fundamental film production skills using cameras, lenses, lighting and sound equipment. Students will develop an understanding of how historical developments in film craft inform current film productions and explore current trends and best practice in digital filmmaking.

Level 5

Optional Modules

Study Semester Abroad - Creative Writing and Film Studies
60 credits

The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.

Study Year Abroad -Creative Writing and Film Studies
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.

Script Development
20 credits

Students will workshop their writing in tutor-led and peer-led sessions, offering andreceiving constructive criticism, reading and performing key scenes from their scriptsand re-drafting and developing their work. They will also share insights into theirongoing research process with peers. Industry guest speakers will also share theirknowledge and experience in seminars and masterclasses.

Short Fiction
20 credits

This module expands students' understanding of short fiction and fosters independent reading. It supports their short story writing skills, enhancing their creative confidence and critical insights. Students learn to think creatively about the possibilities of short story writing and develop their ability to evaluate both published authors and peers constructively. Through workshops and essays, students gain a strong foundation in narrative craft, preparing them for more advanced prose modules at Level 6.

Poetry
20 credits

This module has creativity embedded throughout, with a heightened awareness of written and spoken communication and the power of language. Poems are designed to be heard as well as read. Students will be reading their own draft poetry aloud in class, thus developing self-confidence in their own voices and work.

Creative Non-fiction
20 credits

The module will include a diverse range of texts that promote interculturalunderstanding. Boundary spanning skills will be developed across the many forms ofcreative non-fiction and an exploration of the writerly techniques they value.

Screenwriting
20 credits

Students will workshop their writing in tutor-led and peer-led sessions, offering andreceiving constructive criticism, reading and performing key scenes from their scriptsand re-drafting and developing their work. Industry guest speakers will also share their knowledge and experience in seminars and masterclasses.

Writing for Stage & Radio
20 credits

In this module, students will learn scriptwriting for radio and stage, focusing on modern techniques. They'll explore these forms through reading and listening, and develop their work collaboratively in a writers' room. Students will also improve their communication skills, refining their scripts through workshops and industry expert input in seminars and masterclasses.

Writing in Production
20 credits

The module embeds key employability skills: leadership and motivational skills, analysis and problem solving, creativity and enterprise, professional written and spoken communication, financial literacy, planning and organization, digital capability and teamworking and collaboration.

The Fantastic
20 credits

The module will engage students 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 experimentation with a range of writing styles leading to specialisation in one genre area. Students will produce original, creative work informed by their studies, and present it to their classmates and tutors for formative feedback and further development.

Approaching Your Novel
20 credits

In this module, students will learn how to propose novels effectively, understand their target market, and master the art of crafting compelling opening chapters. They'll also explore various novel genres and develop essential narrative skills. Through peer workshops and hands-on practice, students will prepare work suitable for the publishing industry, all while gaining valuable insights into genre, market, and narrative craft.

American Cinema
20 credits

Through a series of seminars student will develop a deep understanding of developments in American cinema from its beginnings to the present day. Students learn about early entrepreneurial approaches to cinema, through to the studio system, independent production, post-studio conglomerations, censorship, and international co-production.

Film Adaptation
20 credits

This module will consider theoretical debates such as the limitations of Fidelity and whether Adaptation can be considered a genre. Specific attention will be paid to Stage to Screen adaptations, Shakespearian translations, Comic book and Video Game adaptations and Fan Adaptations. The module also includes a series of workshops and tutorials designed to develop student screenwriting skills as they create an adapted screenplay.

Experimental Filmmaking
20 credits

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience, planning and managing a short experimental 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 that are appropriate for experimental filmmaking.

Video Essay
20 credits

Through a series of lectures and practical making workshops, students will be introduced to the video essay as a form of scholarly engagement with Film. They will gain familiarity with current practice within the academic video essay community and explore existing scholarship on the developing form of the scholarly video essay as a legitimate form of academic research and publication.

Documentary Filmmaking
20 credits

This module will introduce you to the basic principles of directing, filming, editing and producing for a short documentary film.

Fiction Filmmaking
20 credits

The fiction filmmaking module will develop students’ knowledge and experience of the technical, creative, organisational and administrative demands involved in a short film production. The overarching theme of this module is the development of the creative processes in relation to film production.  The short film genre gives students the opportunity to test out ideas or tell a story within the confines of a limited run-time. The relationships between technical, creative, and aesthetic choices will be considered in relation to the ‘real-world’ issues of production management. Working to a brief is designed to give students opportunities for work-based learning.

European Cinema
20 credits

This module serves as an introduction to the range and variety of films produced in Europe, as well as to the significance of film festivals for its visibility and promotion. 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

This module aims to give students an understanding of the working practices and organisation of the British film industry. This module will provide all students with a work-based learning experience through opportunities to network with and present to industry. Students will be encouraged to develop their understanding of the different sectors of the local and national film industry into a recognition of the job opportunities that are presented in an area of personal career interest to them.  Students will test out the industry relevance of their careers knowledge by presenting to and networking with industry partners and they will then apply to relevant work experience opportunities as part of their careers portfolio.

Level 6

Optional Modules

Advanced Script Workshop 1
20 credits

In this module, students are encouraged to advance the work-shopping skills that they have developed over the previous four semesters to give and receive constructive criticism in peer-led sessions as well as tutor-led work groups. Key employability skills are embedded throughout. These include: Analysis, problem solving & decision making, communication, ICT, numeracy & financial literacy, planning & organisation and team work and collaboration, as well as creativity and enterprise. 

Advanced Script Workshop 2
20 credits

The module is the last step before students either enter the industry or move on to Masters level. In this module, they are encouraged to use the work-shopping skills that they have developed over the previous five semesters to give and receive constructive criticism in peer-led sessions as well as tutor-led work groups. Key employability skills are embedded throughout. These include: Analysis, problem solving & decision making, communication, ICT, numeracy & financial literacy, planning & organisation and team work and collaboration, as well as creativity and enterprise.

Advanced Poetry Workshop 1
20 credits

The focus on published collections encourages students to focus on how a poet's'voice' is developed and how individual poems are collated to inform the collection asa whole.

Advanced Poetry Workshop 2
20 credits

Students will be working at an advanced level, demonstrating the skills both critical and creative necessary to succeed in the world of contemporary poetry. Work-based learning will be included in student interaction with guest speakers – poets who are published and viewed as leading writers in their field.

Advanced Prose Workshop 1
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage the student to use the technical, cognitive and narrative skills they have acquired to produce a writing portfolio and reflection, using their own strengths and those of the community of writers of which they 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, a student's individual contribution is of great importance. The portfolio may consist of fiction or creative non-fiction. The research portfolio further develops good habits in terms of writing for publication and understanding the market.

Advanced Prose Workshop 2
20 credits

This module is designed to encourage the student to use the technical, cognitive andnarrative skills they have acquired to produce a writing portfolio and reflection, usingtheir own strengths and those of the community of writers of which they are a part.As the workshops are based each week on self-chosen areas of writerly concern andprepared readings of peer students' draft work, suggestions for wider reading andgiving thoughtful and detailed critiques, a student's individual contribution is of greatimportance. The students will have the opportunity to work in a team and to take aleadership role. The portfolio may consist of fiction or creative non-fiction. Thereflective essay further develops understanding of writing as a craft, examining boththeory and technique, with application to the student's own creative practice.

Digital Writing
20 credits

This module enables students to develop an understanding of writing for digitalplatforms and skillsets necessary to produce digital content. Over the semesterstudents will not only discover the creative possibilities of writing for online platformsbut also the career opportunities in this field of writing. The module will look atdiverse areas of text and writing online, from media characters portrayed in socialnetworking, bloggers, viral campaigns, podcasts, music production and participatoryprojects to location based storytelling. The module is open to new and emergingpossibilities and platforms.

Writer at Work: Portfolio
20 credits

The module will be a mix of class and group activities, sessions with guest speakers, and independent research and planning. It will draw on the expertise of the university's Student Futures team, alongside the subject-specific knowledge of the module teaching team, and a range of guest speakers from the creative industries, to deepen students' understanding of potential employment opportunities and to help them map and plan their own routes towards this. Through a series of guided activities, students will be enabled to reflect on their existing skills and experience, identify areas for development, and explore ways of presenting themselves as writers and creative-industry professionals. They will also develop their skills in research, analytical writing and clear written communication, through researching case studies in the creative industries and writing these up in a comparative analytical study.

Writer at Work: Project
20 credits

This module builds on key employability skills providing a work-based learningopportunity whilst also continuing to develop students' skill sin research andanalytical writing suitable for postgraduate study.

Independent Study
20 credits

This module allows students to pursue an individually devised creative project in Creative Writing at an advanced level. Students who wish to take this module will apply in writing and their application may be refused. Students on the module submit a proposal to the module leader who then offers their comments, refining the objectives of the study into an agreed form, at which stage the module leader assigns the student a supervising tutor. The module provides the student with an opportunity to pursue a project which is not accommodated elsewhere in the programme.

Creative Writing Work Based Learning
20 credits

This module provides Creative Writing students with the opportunity to widen their direct knowledge of working practices within a field where they can use the skills acquired on their programme, to widen their contacts and to assess their skills within an experiential context. Students negotiate a learning contract with an employer and a tutor and are assessed on their written account of the content and relevance of their work experience to the Creative Writing degree.

World Cinema
20 credits

The module provides insights into a range of non-US and non-European cinemas, and critical tools for the students to engage with films from different cultural contexts.

Final Film Pre-Production
20 credits

This module gives the students an opportunity to develop their understanding of pre-production skills and practice applied to film making. It enables students to develop an ability to understand and reflect constructively on the pre-production process for independent film production.

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.

Interpretation in Film
20 credits

Through a series of seminars student will develop a deep understanding how to interpret film through a variety of theoretical approaches. These will include text-based approaches, as well as other understandings, such as paratexts and promotion, taste cultures, audiences, and fandom.

Work Based Learning
20 credits

This module provides Film Studies students with the opportunity to widen their direct knowledge of working practices in a film-related field. The module allows students to widen their contacts and to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned on the programme to a work setting. Students negotiate a learning contract with an employer/client and a tutor, and are assessed on their written account of the content and relevance of their work experience/client project to the Film Studies degree.

 

Black American Film
20 credits

The module produces students with a historical overview of Black American identity in film. Topics covered include Minstrelsy, Early Black Pioneers, Stereotyping and Marking, The Emergence of Black Stars, The Civil Rights Era, Blaxploitation, Gangsta Films, Intersectionality and Black Lives Matter.

Film Thesis
20 credits

Through a series of lectures and tutorials students will develop their critical thinking and research skills as part of the completion of a large independent study project. They will be encouraged to generate effective strategies to manage their time, meet deadlines, and engage in self-directed study in an area of Film Studies they have a specific interest in.

 

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 writers 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

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 Liverpools 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 caf. It is only a short walk from LJMUs 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.

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.