BA American Literature with Creative Writing

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American Studies at the University of East Anglia is recognised as one of the best departments in the UK. We offer our undergraduate students a broad range of courses and modules, allowing you to tailor your learning as you progress through your time with us. Most of our degrees also involve a year studying abroad. Throughout their course, our students develop skills that are highly attractive to employers.

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Key facts

(Guardian University Guide 2019)

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Understanding America in the 21st century is more essential than ever. At UEA we have one of the largest concentrations of American studies scholars in the country, covering the entirety of the field. Join us and discover new perspectives on some of the classic questions in this subject.

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"Areas i didn't think i'd be interested in completely turned around for me because of the enthusiasm of certain professors. I honestly don't think i could find a better university for my academic area than UEA"

In their words

Stephanie Watson, BA American Literature with Creative Writing.

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Come and join UEA's English Literature students as they discuss 'what makes literature live?', with a little help from T.S. Eliot and others...

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Explore the literary tradition of the world’s most influential culture while developing your own distinctive voice.

You’ll be studying in Norwich, an ideal location for this course, with its vibrant contemporary writing scene and status as a UNESCO City of Literature. You’ll also have the advantage of spending a year studying abroad, deepening your understanding of American literature, and immersing yourself in the culture of another country. As well as developing your creative practice in the department of American Studies, you’ll study at the world-leading School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, whose internationally esteemed alumni include Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro.

All of this experience will enrich your final year, during which you’ll take a series of advanced classes and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, guided by a supervisor.

Overview

You’ll be introduced to the demands and challenges of literary creative practice. You’ll study creative writing alongside the study of American literature, helping you develop both your creative and critical abilities.

You’ll have access to UEA’s close and active links with the world of contemporary writing and publishing; a legacy of the university’s long running and highly respected courses in the writing of fiction, poetry and drama. You’ll also be able to learn about writing for the creative industries through practice-based modules and workshops covering topics such as the history and practice of American journalism and scriptwriting for the American stage and screen.

Whatever path you choose through your studies, this degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how American literature has shaped the world around us. You will learn about the relationship between culture and politics, while gaining an in-depth knowledge of the forces that transform societies and forge nations. The specialised focus of American Literature with Creative Writing will give you the critical tools to better understand how culture is produced while you hone your own creative practice.

Your year abroad will give your degree even more of a cosmopolitan flavour, enhancing your understanding of your subject and presenting you with invaluable opportunities for enriching your creative writing skills from an international perspective. You’ll take modules at your host university, whilst experiencing the culture of another country first-hand. Your year abroad will increase your confidence, broaden your horizons, build your contacts and demonstrate your resilience to future employers.

Course Structure

Year 1

In your first year you’ll acquire a comprehensive historical and literary overview of the United States. You’ll analyse a series of American icons - including the Stars and Stripes, the cowboy and the prison, using them as a way to think about important issues that have shaped the American national consciousness. Through lectures and seminars you’ll also cover the often fiercely contested development of a national literature in the United States. You’ll trace the ways in which a multitude of voices – including Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and William Faulkner – have interpreted the nation.

You’ll participate in creative writing tutorials that will help you develop your creative practice and workshop your writing. Specifically, the Creative Writing and Identity module will enable you to master and employ different creative writing techniques, read and give constructive feedback on other’s work, use a writer’s notebook, and develop and revise your own creative work.

Throughout the year you’ll cultivate and hone the key academic and practical skills needed to study at university level.

Year 2

In your second year you’ll take two compulsory modules. Exceptional States: U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History is an interdisciplinary module that allows you to delve more deeply into the foundational ideas that have animated and shaped the construction of the American nation. The complementary compulsory module, American Voices, encourages you to reflect on your own creative writing. In seminars and creative writing workshops you’ll develop as a writer, reader and editor of your own and other people’s work. These modules will enhance your understanding of American literature, but also your skills as a critical reader and creative writer.

At this stage of your degree, you’ll embark on academic specialisation, meaning that the remaining credits for the year will be drawn from modules you choose run by the department of American Studies and the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Year 3

You’ll spend your third year studying in another country at one of our partner universities. You could spend your year in the US, or add a comparative element to your studies by studying in Canada or the Pacific Rim countries.

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

Year 4

In your final year you’ll continue to specialise, choosing modules relating to the research specialisms of academic staff within the department of American Studies and the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. In the Autumn semester, you’ll also take a specialist creative writing module oriented around an American theme.

In the second semester of your final year – guided by an academic supervisor – you’ll also complete a dissertation on a literary or creative topic of your choice.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. We pride ourselves on our small group seminar teaching, which allows a greater level of discussion between academic staff and students. In seminars, you’ll learn how to listen to and critique the ideas of others, as well as how to present and defend your own arguments effectively.

You’ll acquire vital skills needed for independent learning throughout your course and have access to dedicated sessions designed to help you make the most of UEA’s state of the art library facilities. Through these sessions and your academic modules, you’ll gain the crucial research skills of uncovering resources and critically assessing sources. As you progress through your degree you’ll develop as a self-motivated researcher and independent, creative thinker.

In addition to timetabled lecture and seminar slots, each member of staff at UEA holds dedicated office hours where students can come and seek additional advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis. You’ll also be assigned an adviser who can support you through your studies by providing academic and career guidance.

During your time at UEA, you’ll be taught by academics working at the forefront of their fields. Our academics have been published widely on key issues that have shaped the development of American literature. You will also benefit from their experience as practitioners in the creative industries, and will have the opportunity to build your own network of contacts and work-related experience to further your future career.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed at the end of each semester through a mixture of coursework, portfolio work and examination. In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your choice with the support of your tutors. Your final degree result is determined by the marks you receive in your second and fourth years.

For every piece of assessment that you submit you’ll receive written and verbal feedback from tutors. These comments and reflections will help you identify the methods and strategies that will improve your work and help you get the most out of your studies.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

You’ll spend your third year studying abroad. Our Year Abroad programme has been running for more than 30 years and is one of the largest in the UK for American Studies. Your time abroad will be an invaluable academic and cultural experience, one that most students consider to be the highlight of their time at university.

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

After the course

As an American Literature with Creative Writing graduate, you’ll be well placed to enter a wide-range of professions. Working across disciplines, studying abroad, and undertaking in-depth research will give you key skills that are highly regarded by employers. You’ll also graduate as an expert researcher and communicator, skilled in analysing data, and good at working in a team. You will develop an understanding of the cultural forces shaping creative content, and the processes by which audiences can access it, giving you an advantage over your peers as you begin your career.

Career destinations

Examples of careers you could enter include:

  • Professional writing and Publishing
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Cultural and creative industries
  • Teaching/lecturing
  • Researcher

Course related costs

You are eligible for reduced fees during the year abroad. Further details are available on our Tuition Fee website.

There will be extra costs related to items such as your travel and accommodation during your year abroad, which will vary depending on location.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • The Lost Ones

    In the late nineteenth century, as the federal government entered the final stages of US nation building with its accompanying conquest and dispossession of Native nations, a glaring question remained unanswered: what should be done with the surviving indigenous peoples who had withstood this onslaught.

    Read it The Lost Ones
  • Trump's challenge

    Trump’s challenge to the US legal system must be taken seriously.

    Read it Trump's challenge
  • UEA Award

    Develop your skills, build a strong CV and focus your extra-curricular activities while studying with our employer-valued UEA award.

    Read it UEA Award
  • Ask A Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

    Read it Ask A Student

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB including an English Literature related subject or BBB including an English Literature related subject with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including HL 5 English
  • Scottish Highers AAABB including an English Literature related subject
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC including an English Literature related subject
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 3 subjects at H2, 3 subjects at H3 including an English Literature related subject
  • Access Course Humanities & Social Sciences pathway is preferred. Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 including an English Literature module, and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM, alongside grade B in an English Literature related subject A-Level (or equivalent qualification). Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 75% including 70% in an English Literature related subject

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

If you do not have an A-Level or equivalent qualification in English Literature (or English Language and Literature), once you have submitted your UCAS form we may then contact you to ask you to submit a short analysis of a passage of a literary text in support of your application.

Applicants will be asked to send in a short sample creative writing portfolio.  We ask for around five A4 pages of work which can be poetry, fiction, script or creative non-fiction (but no reviews) or a mixture of these.  

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

If you do not meet the University's entry requirements, our INTO Language Learning Centre offers a range of university preparation courses to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study.

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515