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BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This joint degree in English Literature and Creative Writing aims to:

  • provide you with a wide-ranging introduction to writing in English (and texts translated into English) 
  • develop your skills of textual analysis and interpretation, and your awareness of the range and variety of current critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English literature 
  • enable you to develop conceptual ability, communication skills, and a capacity for creative and independent thinking 
  • help you discover and develop your individual strengths as a writer
  • develop your ability to generate ideas and build a disciplined practice of writing
  • introduce you to writing a number of genres, including fiction, poetry, life writing and drama
  • hone your redrafting and editing skills, by establishing the practice of scrutinising your own work and that of your peers. 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a substantial number of texts in English (or translated into English) from a wide range of different genres and cultural settings
  • key critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English, including an awareness of how language and texts negotiate cultural change and difference
  • the creative process including methods for generating new writing through exercises
  • writing fiction, poetry, life writing and drama scripts with technical skill, individual style and editorial awareness.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • analyse a wide range of texts from the past and other cultural contexts in an appropriate critical vocabulary
  • evaluate different interpretations of texts, synthesise information and ideas drawn from a variety of sources
  • diagnose and solve creative problems arising in your own work and be able to sift and make use of beneficial advice to enhance your writing
  • give objective and informed evaluations of your own and others’ work through constructive criticism. 

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • organise time and workload in the planning and writing of essays and longer projects, following the conventions of scholarship in this subject, and acknowledging the work of others
  • write with imagination and precision, realising chosen forms, characters, settings and situations, which are authentic for the reader or audience
  • edit and present manuscripts, essays and media scripts to a professional standard
  • participate constructively in critical discussion about creative and scholarly work, collaborating orally and in writing with peers in developing your own work and the work of your fellow students; contributing to a supportive writing and literary community. 

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • communicate complex ideas and arguments clearly and in ways that are appropriate to your subject, purpose and audience
  • use ICT tools competently, using information literacy skills in finding, evaluating and using online data
  • exercise a disciplined writing practice including willingness to research, experiment, revise and redraft
  • work independently, generating and sustaining creative and scholarly ideas, developing your own reading, writing and learning strategies
  • gather, sift, interpret and organise substantial quantities of diverse information in structured ways. 

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire your knowledge and understanding through a mix of published distance-learning materials, study guides, a range of multimedia material, online tuition, writing activities, working on primary and secondary sources, and feedback on your assignments. The assessment of your knowledge and understanding will be through a mix of essay questions, writing assignments, reflective commentaries and short-answer questions. In some instances, particularly at OU level 3, you may also be assessed through extended assignments, allowing you to develop your skills in independent study. The precise nature of this mix will depend on your choice of modules. As you progress through the degree you will find that you are cumulatively increasing your level of knowledge and understanding and you can expect a significant portion of your progress to be assessed at OU level 3.

Cognitive skills are taught cumulatively and in ways that will vary according to which modules you choose to study. They will include the use of written materials, in-text questions, audio, visual and/or interactive material, carefully monitored feedback on assignments, as well as online tutorials and forum work. The essay is a principal form of assessment alongside writing projects in various genres. You may also work on short-answer questions and a range of reflective assignments.

Practical and/or professional skills are taught cumulatively throughout the modules that make up the degree.