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Bachelor of Arts (English and Creative Writing)
This new course builds and expands on over a decade’s worth of experience in directing and fostering undergraduate talent specifically in Creative Writing at NUI Galway. It provides a unique opportunity for students with an aptitude and passion for literary expression, and in keeping with the principle that ‘writers learn to write by writing’, the emphasis throughout is on practice-based learning and experience.
You will study and practice all the major genres of Creative Writing: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Playwriting, Screenwriting. Within these broader genres, you will be helped discover, experiment with and strengthen your own individual strands of interest.
During the course, your developing concentration on your own creative practice is paralleled by a focus on the practical imperatives and industry requirements in the many established and emerging writing-related fields. From the very start during your first year, a speaker from the writing professions visits the class each week for discussions, Q & A and informal conversation. This will help you begin to actively engage with the everyday routines and rhythms of writing-related professionals of all kinds.
With your expanding knowledge of what it takes to write at a high level, by the end of second year you will be ready to embark on a third year that provides for a 100% focus on your personal Creative Writing project(s). By the end of this specialism year, students on the course have developed advanced drafts of, for instance, novels of various kinds, collections of stories and/or flash fiction, poetry collections, plays, screenplays, essay collections, podcast scripts. You decide on your creative direction and project focus for the year, and then we will engage with your ideas and provide the teaching, mentorship and all-in guidance to help you fulfil your vision for your work.
Then, as you complete your studies in English and one other subject during your fourth and final year, you will build further on your third-year project(s) through modules that concentrate on further professionalisation, publication planning, social and public platforms and the various ways now of getting yourself and your writing out there.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
Betsy Cornwell, author.
Susan Du Mars, author.
Elaine Feeney, author.
Kevin Higgins, author.
Tim Kearney, screenwriting educator.
Kate Kerrigan (aka Morag Prunty), author.
Sarah O’Toole, theatre artist and writer.
Requirements and Assessment
Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 Grades in the Leaving Certificate including Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.
Next start date
A Level Grades (2021)
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Mode of study
You will study Creative Writing, English, and one other Arts subject. The focus in Creative Writing will be on the practice of Fiction and Nonfiction, and there will also be a weekly visiting-speaker series.
You will study Creative Writing, English, and your other chosen Arts subject. For Creative Writing, second year concentrates on the writing of Poetry, Plays and Screenplays.
Your Creative Writing work will be the exclusive focus, through mentored independent project(s) and/or study abroad and/or work placement. While mentorship with professional writers is the prime work experience for our Creative Writing students, other forms of work placement are possible. Your third year provides a major opportunity for guided self-directed learning, and your can discuss your plans and prospects in advance with your course director and/or mentor. If you are studying a language with English and Creative Writing, you may avail of an exchange at an EU university, and the Creative Writing study path you take while abroad will be planned in advance. Non-language students may also avail of an exchange with an English-speaking university abroad, most typically in the USA or Canada.
Completion of your studies in Creative Writing, English and your other subject. For Creative Writing, your classes will centre on project and portfolio consolidation, professionalisation and publication planning.
Typical postgraduate courses our Creative Writing graduates move on to include our MAs in Writing, Literature & Publishing, English, Education, Journalism, Languages. Our students have a comparatively very high success rate in applications to a broad range of postgraduate courses at home and abroad.
Why Choose This Course?
With a comparatively high proportion of our students attaining first-class honours degrees (typically 30-40% of the class), this course will help open doors of employment for you in all those fields where written communication is important. You will have fostered the talent, imagination and professionalism necessary to be a published author and you may consider a career as one.
The skills you will acquire are applicable to a wide range of careers and creative fields, for example in teaching, editing, publishing and other literary professions, advertising and copy-writing, games writing and narrative design, and the existing and ever-expanding areas in media, journalism and public engagement.
Who’s Suited to This Course
While mentorship with professional writers is the prime work experience for our Creative Writing students, other forms of work placement are possible. Your third year provides a major opportunity for guided self-directed learning, and prospects for additional placements can be discussed in advance with your course director and/or mentor.
If you are studying a language with English and Creative Writing, Erasmus exchanges with European universities are possible; the Creative Writing study path you take abroad will be discussed in advance with your course director. Non-language students may also avail of an exchange with an English-speaking university abroad, most typically in the USA or Canada.
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student Contribution
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy
Student Levy: €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/
Find out More
Dr John Kenny
John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing
School of English and Creative Arts
t. +353 91 495612
What Our Students Say
John McHugh | BA Connect (Creative Writing)
‘The BA programme in Creative Writing gave me a formidable start in my journey as a writer. Now, with the publication of my first book, I think back to the programme’s combined focus on writing skills, imaginative daring and vision, and its strong workshop ethos: these are the vital foundations for building a future in the writing professions.’ John McHugh, author of Pure Gold (4th Estate/New Island, 2021).