Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Course code Q32W

What is special about this course?

Are you passionate about reading and interested in the study of literature, but also keen on developing your own creative writing? If so, this exciting BA (Hons) Literature and Creative Writing degree gives you the chance to do both.

You will explore literature in a global context, looking in-depth at language and literary history within texts and on the international literary stage. You will also receive 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 explore how these can inform and support other areas of professional writing.

Taught by experienced staff from a variety of literary, creative and professional backgrounds, you will cover a wide range of authors, in English and translation, from the classical to the contemporary. With a solid foundation in genres and periods in years one and two, and research-based modules in years three and four, you will become a confident and enthusiastic writer, researcher and reader.

There will be two mandatory residentials in the first year, plus additional residentials in subsequent years, and you will be required to self-fund any travel to these, and cover accommodation and subsistence costs.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • Present your own work using traditional methods as well as new technologies and publishing platforms
  • Engage with experienced staff from a variety of literary, creative and professional backgrounds
  • There are a number of residential held during the course where you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow-students and staff


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • Must include English at grade C or above, plus one from the list of relevant subjects (Please note: Higher ESOL is not accepted in place of Higher English for this programme)
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • You will be required to submit a portfolio of up to 3,000 words containing three examples of creative writing (preferably in three different styles or genres) and also attend an interview which may be either in person or 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

Core modules are:

  • Theories of literature (S1)
  • Introduction to creative writing skills (S1)
  • Travellers in the wilderness: literature and exile (S2)
  • Reading as a writer (S2)

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Reading fiction: an introduction (S1)
  • Reading drama: an introduction (S2)
  • Reading poetry: an introduction (S2)

Creative Writing

  • Writing for film: introduction to screenplay (S1)
  • Creative project: creative journal (S1)
  • Writing poetry (S2)
  • Creative project: portfolio (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE


Modules may include:

  • Introduction to Gaelic poetry (S1)
  • Medieval literature: texts and contexts (S1)
  • Theatrical powerplay: classical and modern tragedy (S2)
  • Heroic literature: epic from classical to contemporary (S2)

Creative writing

Modules may include:

  • Writing from the north: context and criticism (S1)
  • Developing creative writing skills (S1)
  • Creative project: literary competitions (S1)
  • Writing for film: writing a screenplay (S2)
  • Creative project: peer assessment (S2)
  • Introduction to publishing or writing for children and young people (S2)

Year 3 - BA


Modules may include:

  • Romantic genius: Scottish and European literature, 1750-1830 (S1)
  • Literary borrowings: adaptations and appropriations (S1)
  • Risk anything! The modernist short story (S1)
  • Imagining new worlds: renaissance literature and thought (S2)
  • Nature writing and ecology (S2)

Creative Writing

Modules may include:

  • Authors and audiences (S1)
  • Creative project: researching your writing (S1)
  • Introduction to Orkney and Shetland literature or Scottish writing or creative non-fiction (S1)
  • Writing for performance (S2)
  • Writing experience placement (S2)
  • Creative project: writing what you know (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will choose either:

  • Final creative project (literary magazine/anthology) OR
  • Dissertation (literature) (runs across both semesters)

You will also study one option module from your choice above, plus three option modules from the other subject.


Modules may include:

  • Avant-garde literature (S1)
  • Apocalyptic fictions (S1)
  • Satire: the art of attack (S2)
  • Metafiction: self-referential texts (S2)

Creative Writing

Modules may include:

  • Crime pays (S1)
  • Publishing practice (S1)
  • Writing in the marketplace (S2)
  • Social media skills for writers (S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and/or video conference seminars, residentials and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for most modules.

How long will my course last?

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

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
  • 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.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of this course, you may be interested in pursuing a career in:

  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Gaming
  • Theatre
  • Museums and archives
  • Heritage sector
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Teaching

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from BA (Hons) Literature and Creative Writing to the following UHI postgraduate courses:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Literature and Creative Writing 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.