Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons)

Course code W830

What is special about this course?

The innovative BA (Hons) Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands is designed to give you a solid grounding in the creative principles, in both form and structure of four of the main areas of creative writing: poetry, prose, playwriting and the screenplay. You will be encouraged to explore how these can inform and support other areas of professional writing in gaming, advertising, marketing, vlogs etc. 

You will have the opportunity to present your work using traditional methods as well as using new technologies and publishing platforms. The course aims to place creative disciplines within the cultural, social, political, geographical and historical context of Scotland, and to show how they make the area culturally unique but connect it to the literature, cultural traditions and histories of its geographical neighbours.

You will be encouraged to pursue your individual creativity, along with both the necessary intellectual stimulation and understanding of the professionalism required to be a successful writer in your chosen field.

The degree capitalises on the popularity of books and series set in Scotland and beyond, and will encourage you to realise the potential opportunity these existing and developing markets represent for your work.

Special features

  • Unique residential experiences and writers' retreats experiences
  • Study online to fit around your work or other responsibilities
  • Forge important links with local communities
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with local and national writers, and other industry professionals
  • Undertake a blend of creative, critical and practical project-based learning
  • Work towards publishing your own work
  • The honours year features anthology publication of your original work
  • Lecturing staff from a variety of creative and professional backgrounds

Entry requirements

  • 3 Highers at grade BCC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC
  • You must have Higher or A level English at grade B or above
  • You will also be required to submit a portfolio of examples of creative writing (up to 3,000 words)
  • You will also be required to attend an interview, which can be conducted online

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following modules:

  • First draft: proposal (S1)
  • First draft: reflection (S2)
  • Introduction to creative writing skills: journals (S1)
  • Reading as a writer (S2)
  • Writing for film: Introduction to screenplay (S1)
  • Writing poetry (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following modules:

  • Creative project: literary competitions (S1)
  • Creative project: peer assessment (S2)
  • Developing creative writing skills (S1)
  • Introduction to publishing (S2)
  • Writing from the north: context and criticism (S1)

You will also choose one of the following modules:

  • Heroic literature: epic from classical to contemporary (S2)
  • Writing for children and young people (S2)
  • Writing for film: writing a screenplay (S2)

Year 3 - BA

You will study the following modules:

  • Authors and audience (S1)
  • Creative non-fiction (S2)
  • Creative project: researching your writing (S1)
  • Creative project: writing what you know (S2)
  • Writing experience placement (S2)

You may also choose one of the following modules:

  • Branching narratives for interactive content development (S1)
  • Scottish writing (S1)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will study the following modules:

  • Crime pays (S1)
  • Final creative project: literary anthology (double credit) (SC)
  • Publishing practice (S1)
  • Social media skills for writers (S2)
  • Writing in the marketplace (S2)

How will I study my course?

  •  Full-time
  •  Part-time (structured)
  •  Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars, residentials and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment
  • Residentials will take place twice each academic year. Student are required to self-fund any travel to the residentials and cover accommodation and subsistence costs

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week 
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.


Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September



Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

  • Residentials will take place twice each academic year. Student are required to self-fund any travel to the residentials and cover accommodation and subsistence costs

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this degree, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Marketing, advertising, media
  • Writing for games
  • Theatre
  • Website development

Can I progress into further study?

You may progress from BA (Hons) Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands to the following postgraduate courses at the university:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.