Bachelor of Arts with Creative Writing

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

What our lecturers say

What our lecturers say
Creative Writing

What our students say

What our students say
Studying Creative Writing

Course overview

The BA with Creative Writing provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates with an aptitude and passion for literary expression. From the start, you will be guided and advised on a one-to-one basis by the programme director and mentor, and you will immediately be placed in a learning environment with people of similar creative interests. The programme provides a focus for you as a creative writer through a series of cooperative workshops that will in turn facilitate and guide you in your self-directed learning.

All assessment is based on continuous exercises, project work and portfolio expansion – there are no end-of-term papers or exams for Creative Writing.


Key facts

Entry requirements

Minimum Grade HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at H or O level in the Leaving Certificate including: Irish, English, another modern language and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional requirements


Duration: 4 years

Next start date: September 2015

Entry points(2014): 460

A Level Grades (2014): AAA & b (AS) or equivalent combination

Average intake: 15

Course outline

The preferred choice of degree subjects for those doing Creative Writing may be English, Philosophy, History or Classics, but you may reasonably choose from across the broad spectrum of Arts offerings. The specialism Creative Writing will be delivered in the timetable of Arts subject Group Five, and, therefore, may not be studied together with the subjects Sociological and Political Studies, Information Technology, Welsh or Láann an Aistriúcháin. 


Year One:

Module 1: The Forms of Fiction

This first module establishes the general pattern of subsequent classes whereby, in the company of your creative peers, you will be encouraged to develop your own creative practice while also developing your knowledge of historical and contemporary literary forms, in this case fiction in its various manifestations.

Module 2: Exploring Nonfiction

Varieties of nonfiction – from literary journalism to autobiography, and from travel writing to the personal essay – are currently very popular and lucrative areas within creative work and publishing. This module will help you explore the many types and techniques of literary nonfiction in terms of both the writing itself and the possibilities for publication.

Module 3: Writing Professions

This module will be based around regular guest talks and workshops by visiting speakers from the various writing professions. You will have the opportunity to engage with and question these writers and professionals, and you will keep an account of the visits which will allow you to reflect on the ways in which our speakers help you to explore your writing practice and career possibilities.


Year Two:

Module 1: The Voices and Styles of Poetry

This workshop module will guide you through various styles and techniques for writing poetry. You will work individually and as a group with practising and published poets, who will help you to find and develop your individual poetic voice while you familiarise yourself with national and international poets and poetic traditions.

Module 2: Dramatic Ideas

This module will introduce you to technical aspects of the crafts of stage and screen as a basis for an exploration of writing for performance. These workshops will be led by teachers experienced in the acting professions and you will have the opportunity to develop your writing skills in the context of the various levels of creative production within the performing industries.


Year Three:

The aim of year three is to encourage creative individualism and to facilitate supervised self-directed learning. There is enormous scope for you to either continue to develop work you have begun in the workshop classes or to begin something entirely new. All students must commit for the year to an independent project(s) structure, though the possibilities for what may be done within that structure are limitless.

Independent Project

This may take the form of a single year-long project or two separate projects (one per semester). The nature and extent of your project(s) will be agreed beforehand and coordinated by the Course Director, and you will be assigned a genre-specific editor/mentor of professional standing in the writing industries who will be responsible for full editorial response to your work on a pre-established regular basis.

As part of this cooperative process, they can impart to you their general experience of the profession, together with recommendations for your own specific career development. Your project(s) may also be completed in conjunction with on-site professional experience in the creative fields.

Study at a University Abroad

Language departments require that you spend a period in a relevant country during your third year. Your work for Creative Writing takes precedence over a language, however, and since the aim of the third year of Creative Writing is to get budding writers out of the classroom and into situations that closely resemble the working lives of writers, the better option when doing a language may be to pursue a placement or assistantship abroad. Exchanges with universities abroad are possible in some cases, and non-language students may also avail of an exchange with an English-speaking university.

Applied Writing, Film and Performance/Career and Composition

This combination of modules is designed for Creative Writing students who wish to avail of the optional applied skills programme in semester 1 of this third year.


Year Four:

You will complete your studies in your two core degree subjects and you will normally incorporate in your final projects the specialist skills and knowledge you have gained in Creative Writing over your previous three years.

Further education

A BA with Creative Writing will benefit you in your other degree subjects, and your specialism will also make you a highly valued candidate for postgraduate programmes that focus on writing, literature and creativity. At NUI Galway, for example, it is now possible to study and practise creative writing at all levels: from your undergraduate period on to the MA with Writing, and then on to a practice-based PhD. The BA with Creative Writing is the perfect foundation for your long-term commitments in this field.

Find out more

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies
T 353 (0)91 495 612
F 353 (0)91 495 508

CAO code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €5,822 p.a. 2014/15 (Inclusive of Levy & SCC)
 - Tuition: €2,848 p.a. 2014/15
 - Student contribution: €2,750 p.a. 2014/15
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2014/15
Non-EU (Total): €12,750 p.a. 2014/15

EU Fees:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf if you qualify for free tuition fees see - free fee initiative.
- Student Contribution: €2,750 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
- Student Levy:  €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.

Current Students

Cathy Hogan

BA Connect (Creative Writing)

"Finally a BA with Creative Writing! This course has lived up to all my expectations. I was able to develop my chosen field of writing as well as to expand into areas which were new to me or were outside my comfort zone. Classes with both resident and visiting writers meant that we were exposed to many different styles while we were also encouraged to develop our more personal projects."