5 Need to Know Questions Answered for our new BA English with Creative Writing


We’re very excited about our new programme BA English with Creative Writing launching in September 2017. See below for answers to 5 key questions about the course.

Register your interest in studying BA English with Creative Writing


1. Why should I do English with Creative Writing at QM?

Studying English with Creative Writing will help you to develop your command of both written and spoken language in a way that is useful beyond the academic contexts of literary studies. It is a degree that focuses on the communicative power of language, with a wide range of audiences and readerships in mind. Queen Mary has a strong presence in the field of contemporary writing, with particular expertise in contemporary fiction and experimental writing. We are also committed to new and emerging contexts for creative expression, including new media, the creative industries and non-fictional writing.


2. What sort of jobs are available for graduates with a BA in English with Creative Writing ? How will Creative Writing help in the job market?

Some graduates from English with Creative Writing will succeed as published writers. But Creative Writing graduates are also sought by employers for their skills in effective communication. Creative Writing modules require high levels of collaboration, including responses to and editing of the written output of others. Many Creative Writing graduates will progress to careers in creative industries such as publishing, journalism, advertising and the new media industries. More generally, English with Creative Writing graduates can present high level information and analytical skills to employers, including the ability to interpret, evaluate, synthesise and organise material, to formulate independent and critical judgements, creative solutions and articulate reasoned arguments.


3. Can you make a living as a writer?

Many people make a living as a writer. It is true that those who make a living as novelists is relatively small, but many writers combine literary production with other forms of employment, such as journalism, academic teaching or professional writing. In broader terms, the need for effective writers and communicators is at an all time high, because of the dependence of businesses on the internet, where sophisticated writing and editing skills are prized. A degree in Creative Writing prepares the graduate for both independent and collaborative textual production.


4. What can I tell my parents about why I plan to do English with Creative Writing

Doing English with Creative Writing will give me a knowledge of literary traditions, genres and conventions, but it will, more than ordinarily, train me in the production as well as the critical analysis of cultural artefacts. English with Creative Writing is like doing an English degree, but with a greater emphasis on the transferable writing skills that employers often seek in English graduates.


5. How likely am I to make it as a writer of fiction?

If you do have your heart set on writing fiction, this programme offers you invaluable contact with, and advice from those with a track record in publishing fiction. The programme helps you to make contact with literary agents,  and addresses all aspects of the contemporary literary marketplace, the relationship between literary and genre fiction, and the way to present work to publishers. The programme aims to provide you with the information that you need about the workings of the industry, the ability to set goals, self-manage and meet deadlines. These are the things that a writer needs to succeed in the marketplace.


Register your interest in studying BA English with Creative Writing

SED’s Reaction to National Student Survey 2016: The university experience is so much more than statistics

The NSS results are in, and they are very good for English and Drama at Queen Mary. In Drama we scored 96% overall satisfaction, and in English 91% for the same, both up from last year.

But what does all this mean for you?

For the stattos out there, that places Drama in the top 10 nationally, 2nd in the Russell Group, and 3rd in London. English is 2nd in the Russell Group in London. Both departments also did really well on the question asking students how satisfied they are with teaching: 98% in Drama and 94% in English.

We are very grateful to all the third year students who filled in the National Student Survey. We take the survey seriously (especially when we do well!), but statistics don’t tell the whole story. There’s so much more to a degree in English or Drama —or one of our joint programmes. Our highest priority is students, their education, and their experience on the degree.

Students need high quality, cutting edge teaching delivered by top researchers in the discipline. But they also need to feel safe, cared for, and supported. They need a space where they can learn about our subjects, and also grow as people, so that they become critical and engaged citizens prepared for the wider world. University is about so much more than what can be measured in the statistics of a survey.

REF2014: Response and Implications

The School of English and Drama is delighted by our success in the REF, which recognizes us as one of the leading research institutions in the country. The Department of Drama is ranked 1st in the UK for the quality of its research, while the Department of English is ranked 5th (and 1st in London).

The results testify to international quality of the dynamic interdisciplinary research done by our research staff. The REF measures quality in research outputs, in our research environment, and in the impact our research has on the wider world. In each measure we have performed exceptionally well. This is a testament to the hard work and collegiality with which colleagues across the School have approached the REF.

The REF results are vital in determining future research funding, and this result will ensure the School continues to prosper in the coming years. The research that REF measures also has an important influence on our teaching. The School has long adopted a philosophy of research-led teaching; this means that the modules we run at undergraduate and postgraduate level are taught by international experts in the field, and students are thus exposed to the latest and most exciting ideas. The impact result also reveals that academics in the School are committed to speaking to audiences beyond the university.

In the following two videos, I reflect on the importance of the REF, and some of the implications it was for us and for other institutions.