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Creative Writing and Journalism BA Honours

Our course allows you to develop your creative writing ability as well as gaining the skills needed to thrive as a journalist.
September 2024
3 years full-time
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Ariel Kahn

Why study creative writing and journalism with us

With our journalism and creative writing course you don't have to pick between the two areas of interest. Our course offers the unique experience of combining both subjects, so you can develop your skills as a writer across different styles.

During the course, you'll cover everything you'll need to know about journalism – from shorthand to digital media. You'll also learn about the life of a journalist whether you want to write for a newspaper, magazine, or online platforms.

On the creative writing side, you'll learn how to critically examine different types of writing – our course gives you plenty of opportunities to experiment with language, styles and formats.

This course prepares you to enter the industry as a professional journalist or go on to work in all sorts of creative industries, from creative writing to comedy.

You'll learn alongside professional authors, playwrights, scriptwriters, and journalists as you develop the skills you need. You'll also get plenty of practice with opportunities like North London Story Festival and many others.

Develop your skills with our course

This course is ideal if you want to improve your skills as a writer and gain a theoretical foundation of best writing practices. You'll study all forms of writing, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as drama and screenwriting. You'll also take an in-depth look at the way journalism and writing industries are developing today.

Learning to communicate effectively, you'll learn essential journalism and creative writing skills such as narrative, character, and developing dialogue and conflict.

The teaching is varied and exciting, from creative workshops and listening to talks by speakers from the industry to practical work using our extensive media production tools. You will work on your own creative and practical projects, and put together a portfolio of work; you will attend demonstrations, lectures, seminars, workshops and one-to-one tutorials, and supplement all this with online and independent study.

Later in the course, you'll take part in development of your employability profile in order to put your new skills to practice in a work environment. Previously, we have placed our students with some of the most prestigious media outlets in the UK, such as BBC London and The Guardian.

Networking and support

We ensure that every student has full support throughout their time with us. That’s why you’ll get matched with a Personal Tutor as well as a Student Learning Assistant and a Graduate Academic Assistant. They’ll have experience in your subject area and will be able to help whenever you need.

If you want a successful career in journalism or writing-based role, then this is the course to consider. We’ll help you develop the skills and relationships you need to thrive in your chosen career path.

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What will you study on the Creative Writing and Journalism?

The BA Creative Writing and Journalism will give you a solid grounding in language and communication across a range of creative and journalistic genres and through a variety of media. It will also link you with the worlds of media, journalistic and literary employment.

This course integrates Creative Writing and Journalism. To create clear and helpful connections between the two disciplines, the BA in Creative Writing and Journalism includes pathways for specific Creative Writing and Journalism modules, and modules that combine the skills and techniques useful for both disciplines, in which students can submit for assessment by applying the skills they have learned to their preferred discipline. This enables developing writers to create a portfolio of work across the degree that supports their strengths and professional development

The first year of the course introduces you to essential journalism skills and creative writing skills that you can apply across a range of media, including narrative storytelling, finding your voice and exploring character, dialogue and conflict.

In the second year you will have the opportunity to develop your creative strengths in such fields as fiction, scriptwriting (with the opportunity to have your script turned into a short film by BA Film students) and storytelling for games, as well as to develop and deepen your journalistic knowledge and skills across print, broadcast, online, mobile and emergent technologies.

The third year gives you the opportunity to work in depth on an independent project, as well as to boost your employability through our innovative Working as Writer module.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Writing Creatively (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the different ways in which we make sense of the world and communicate with others through creative or professional writing. On this module, you will develop your reading and writing skills through exploration of a wide range of literary or journalistic forms and through writing practice in these forms. It introduces the importance and practice of reflective evaluation of your own and other’s creative work through self and peer review.

    • Character, Conflict and Dialogue (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to key elements in the field of imaginative writing – building characters, writing dialogue, creating and building conflict situations. You will investigate the appropriate forms of character, dialogue and conflict writing for different media – stage, page, screen and radio and develop your skills in collaborative writing for radio and other media. You will also develop your research skills appropriate to the imaginative work in hand.

    • What is Journalism? (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to key journalism theories, concepts, codes and conventions, both historic and current, and develops your understanding of the news media industry. You will develop your own views and versions of journalism, bridging the link between theory and practice.

    • Journalism Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will teach you the core journalism skills, techniques and knowledge that will lay the foundation for your degree and journalism career. Providing a firm grounding in news gathering, research, news and feature writing, these skills will be applicable to print, broadcast, online, mobile and emergent technologies.

    • Storytelling (30 credits)

      This module introduces students to theories and aspects of storytelling that are common to prose fiction, creative non-fiction, journalism, media and communications. It will equip students with the knowledge and skills to complete various forms of storytelling in different formats. It will allow students to critically assess the relative success of examples of creative writing and journalism, critically reflect upon their own work and take constructive/developmental feedback on board for improving their writing.

    • Professional communication in creative careers (30 credits)

      The module develops students' abilities in a range of industry-relevant professional communication tasks related to the creative industries. It builds awareness as well as practical ability, a range of communication approaches and activities are used to illuminate discourse strategies appropriate to a range of situations. In addition, this module introduces students to career opportunities in the creative industries and to enable them to plan, reflect on and collate evidence for their own personal and professional development.

    • Practising Journalism (30 credits)

      This module introduces students to key journalism theories, concepts, codes, and conventions. It will enable students to think critically and reflexively about journalism as a discipline and news media as an industry. It will equip students with the core journalism skills, techniques and knowledge that will lay the foundation for their degree and journalism career.

    • Reading as a Writer (30 credits)

      This module will give students a firm grounding in the analytical, research and communication skills that will be essential for progression through the rest of the programme. Students will develop these skills through investigations both of different critical and academic approaches to creative-writing texts and of the contexts (commercial, social and historical) in which texts are produced and consumed.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Multimodal Journalism (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Building on skills learned during the first year, this module enables you to apply your skills in news gathering, production and distribution in print, broadcast, online, mobile and emergent technologies across multiple platforms individually and collaboratively. It considers how factors such as monetisation, non-linear design, audience interaction and mode of dissemination affect the journalistic editorial and production process.

    • Innovation, Science and Technology (30 credits) - Optional

      The module enables you to develop a critical understanding of the journalistic and media coverage of modern innovation, science and technology. You will learn to reflect on the current state of this coverage, its social and political consequences and the challenges of improving it. You will develop research, writing and fact-checking skills for covering this specialist subject, and learn to identify areas for investigation and reporting.

    • Investigative techniques (30 credits)

      This module will develop students’ capacity to evaluate and appreciate good research practices, and how they inform and advance the production of social knowledge. Students develop their understanding of research methods and processes, and how these could be applied for both academic and storytelling purposes. The modules emphasizes the transferability of academic research skills and concepts to practical creative work and prepares students for CWJ3001 Independent Project, whether that takes the form of a written dissertation (academic research), or a creative project.

    • Digital storytelling (30 credits)

      The digital storytelling module builds on core storytelling skills developed in year one, and aims to develop skills in digital, multimodal and hypertext production of creative writing and journalism stories. It also develops understanding of how factors such as monetisation, non-linear design, audience interaction and mode of dissemination affect the storytelling editorial and production process, as well as enable students to practise effectively as ethically-astute digital and multimodal creators, managing different types of outputs, while maintaining focused professional objectives in the process of taking digital storytelling from concept to consumption.

    • Specialist journalism (30 credits)

      This module introduces students to the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to be a journalist on a specialised beat. It explores the role and breadth of journalism specialisms in the modern media and encourages students to pursue a specialism and acquire the in-depth knowledge and reporting skills required to report on that beat. Students further develop core journalistic skills (research, reporting, storytelling) and the more specific techniques and approaches required for different specialisms.

    • Writing Bestsellers (30 credits)

      Writing Best Sellers introduces students to the literary traditions, theories and technical aspects of a variety of genres of commercial fiction. It equips students with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to produce creative writing that successfully fulfils genre-specific requirements. Students critically analyse the relative success and merits of published examples of genre writing, and explore the nature, debates and trends in the contemporary commercial market(s) for different genres of fiction. Student also develop and practise their skills in providing and taking on board feedback, and pitching work for the realisation of commercial and industry-related opportunities.

  • Year 2: Choose two optional modules

    • Screen Writing for Shorts (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will help you to understand the particular demands, constraints and potentials of the short film form. It will help you to understand the significance of story structure, visual storytelling and characterisation in conveying meaning and affect, and how screenplays are written on the page. You will conceive, research and develop a short screen story, write and rewrite a short dramatic script, taking account of and evaluating feedback, including peer group feedback, and evaluate the completed work critically and analytically, formatting your screenplay to industry standards.

    • Fiction: The Short Story (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will develop your fiction-writing skills in the context of the distinctive aesthetics of the short story, with group study of seminal texts in the history of the modern short story forming a context for work-shopped exercises. You will explore such techniques of fiction as voice, setting and atmosphere, narrative tension, character and dialogue, as foregrounded by the short form, and you will also learn about the distinctive publishing environment for short fiction.

    • Storytelling for Games (30 credits) - Option

      This module will provide you with a knowledge of the principles of storytelling in relation to games design as well as the ability to use narrative structures in the design of game worlds. You will develop your ability to apply both game and storytelling knowledge to the creation of an interactive story and develop story language for games design.

  • Year 2: Choose one optional module

    • Arts, Lifestyle and Sports Journalism (30 credits) - Optional

      Teaching you the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to be an arts, lifestyle and/or sports reporter, this module explores the role of these journalism specialisms in the modern media. You will further develop core journalistic skills (research, reporting, storytelling) and the more specific techniques and approaches required for different specialisms as well as build an understanding of the context and pressures under which arts, lifestyle and sports journalism is produced in the modern media.

    • Political Communication (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce you to a range of debates and discussions about the relationship between the media, political actors and audiences/citizens in contemporary society. You will develop your skills in political communications practice, including presentational and deliberative skills, working both independently and as a team.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Independent project (30 credits)

      This module provides the student with the opportunity and support to plan and develop a major independent project that can either (a) be in any of the genres of creative writing or journalism that they have studied on the programme (e.g. fiction, film/play script, creative non-fiction (e.g. life-writing), long-form journalism, portfolio of feature articles), or (b) take the form of an academic dissertation. Students will produce work that explores their own particular interests, that draws on and develops skills acquired on previous modules, and that can be used as a summation of their capabilities (a “calling card”) beyond university. Also, students explore the place of the project within the publishing/media/academic environment and reflect critically on the processes by which the project is developed.

    • Working as a Writer (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to develop skills and practices at an appropriate professional level for the workplace, in industries relevant to the rest of your work in the BA Creative Writing and Journalism programme. It aims to prepare you for possible future career paths in such fields as publishing, the media and journalism, as well as being preparation for the professional publishing and media environment that will form the context for your future activity as writer and journalist.

    • Entrepreneurship (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This unique module enables you to understand and develop an awareness of and capacity for innovation and enterprise through the initiation and exposition of a proposal and business plan with creative and commercial potential. You will develop your core entrepreneurial skills, including networking, negotiation, presentation, pitching, skills, project planning, time management and market research. You are encouraged to apply your acquired knowledge of journalism, media industries, and new and emerging media processes and techniques to opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship and business start-ups

    • Journalism, Money and Power (30 credits) - Optional

      Providing you with the knowledge and the tools to analyse the relationship(s) between journalism, money and power, this module will deconstruct the ways in which the news media industry is shaping, framing, (re)presenting, and even influencing, the ways in which we view our own power structures. You will interrogate these issues to better understand the role journalism plays at the centre of mediating power: shaping it, supporting it, representing and framing it, and holding it to account.

    • Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module helps you to develop your skills and practices at an appropriate professional level in the workplace, in industries relevant to the rest of your work on the programme. It enables you to locate and reflect on your academic learning in the day-to-day operation of industries and institutions and to prepare for carrying forward the outcomes of your studies into professional life.

    • Making it in the creative industries (30 credits)

      This module enables students to develop skills and practices at an appropriate professional level for the workplace, in industries relevant to the rest of their work in their BA Creative Writing and Journalism programme. It aims to prepare them for possible future career paths in such fields as publishing, the media, journalism, copywriting, advertising and public relations, social media management, marketing, and branding, as well as being preparation for the professional publishing and media environment that will form the context for their future activity as writers and journalists.

    • Newsroom (30 credits)

      This module builds on the journalism skills developed in years 1 and 2, enabling students to produce multi-platform and digital media output. Students will develop skills in operational procedures and best practice in a professional newsroom environment, which remains the main venue for content generation. They will also develop the practice of reflection on performance through sessional debriefs and constructive criticism.

    • Creative Non-Fiction (30 credits)

      This module equips students with a critical understanding of defining works of Creative Non-Fiction within a range of specific genres. Students develop, receive feedback on, and edit their own synopsis and sample chapter(s) relating to a piece of written Creative Non-Fiction. Students gain the knowledge, skills and opportunities to produce creative writing that successfully fulfils genre-specific requirements. They also hone their skills in providing and acting on feedback and pitching their work for commercial purposes.

  • Year 3: Choose two optional modules

    • Genre Fiction (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will provide you with knowledge and practice of the tropes and subjects of popular fiction, including romance, historical, horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, with the specific genres covered being agreed in accordance with staff expertise. You will consider a range of texts, such as literature, radio, film and TV and include the emergence of cult video/DVD, developing your ability to recognise the characteristics and requirements of each genre.

    • Popular Non-Fiction (30 credits) - Optional

      This module develops your understanding of how close reading of non-fiction, including forms such as travel and history writing, biography and memoir, can help develop your own creative writing abilities within these genres. It explores the nature of the self, its presentation in text, and the depiction of other lives, with the aim of helping you use different narrative structures and styles in your own work. The module explores the notion of place and voice in non-fiction writing and aims to give an understanding of how research informs practice.

    • Long Form Journalism (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to identify and apply relevant critical frameworks to the concept of long-form journalism. You will demonstrate your high level practical skills in the execution of a complex and large-scale project relevant to the field of journalism and develop professional competence in researching, planning and producing long-form journalism.

    • Global Journalism and News Culture (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce you to global journalism as a concept, a way of researching the expanding news media landscape, and of practicing journalism. Throughout the module, you will explore the ethics and nature of journalism that is being created in, and exported by, different countries and compare the approach of journalists, as well as the quality and style of reporting of global news media outlets.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Creative Writing and Journalism support your career?

The course prepares you to go on to careers in creative writing and/or journalism, and across a wide range of industries wherever good writing and critical thinking are valued. Middlesex graduates include comedian and writer Russell Kane, playwright Rosa Connor, and performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. The course is also particularly useful in areas where work on analysing and producing language is central including journalism, copywriting, advertising, website management, politics, PR, teaching, marketing and branding.

  • Scott Cresswell

    Scott Creswell

    BA Creative Writing and Journalism graduate

    Before attending university, I didn’t know where life would lead me. However, studying at Middlesex University unleashed my passion for creative writing, journalism, and politics. On a very diverse and practical course, I sharpened my skills and transformed creative ideas into reality. The outstanding tutors inspired me to achieve my best and to step out of my comfort zone to create my best work. Middlesex University is a fantastic community where everyone is given the chance to perform their best and work towards their dream career. Soon after graduating, I have accepted an offer to work in Parliament. In this role, I will educate students and visitors about the history of Parliament and its purpose.

  • Russell Kane

    BA Creative and Media Writing graduate

    I am eternally grateful for my education at Middlesex. It was the defining moment, the switching on; an explosive charge that still burns brightly.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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