Uni degrees that involve lots & lots of writing

(27 Posts)
lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 17:28:43

English, Journalism, History, Law.

What else? TIA.

fraktion Mon 07-Jan-13 14:15:22

She might find a degree in, say, forensics, useful for writing crime or a degree in history useful for historical fiction. Writing skills can be honed but they still need material.

NewFerry Mon 07-Jan-13 14:08:15

I have no idea whereabouts in the country you are, but if your daughter enjoys writing have you considered a short creative writing course? The people at Kilve Court run lots of great courses.
Disclaimer, don't work there but all 3 of mine have enjoyed a number of different courses there. And I can recommend an amazing B&B not too far away at Blue Anchor.

Lesbeadiva Mon 07-Jan-13 08:18:03

I have a degree in English, it encompassed creative writing. And I am now a writer smile

throckenholt Mon 07-Jan-13 07:54:48

I won the English Language prize at our school for O level (that was mostly creative writing). It was assumed by the teachers that I would do A level English - but that was mostly literature and I hated English Lit. I loved reading and read masses and far beyond my age group as a young teen, but I found literature deadly boring. I didn't want to analyse what the author was saying, learn quotes, or care what others thought the book meant.

So that tempts me to say - only do Enlgish Lit if you enjoy it. Do the subjects you enjoy, hone your ability to express yourself in English language, and write whatever you want in your own time. Being an author is not usually a planned career path, it develops on the back of some other job. The more experience of other life you have (be it history, science, or whatever), the more interesting your writing will be.

Welovecouscous Mon 07-Jan-13 01:29:27

A good degree is one that gives you lots of options. With history eg you could be a writer, but could also be a teacher, writer, accountant, librarian or banker.

I would encourage her to aim as high as she can wrt Uni and to keep her mind open until later teens.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 07-Jan-13 01:25:34

I've recently started a degree in English with Creative Writing and would thoroughly recommend it.

I'm exposed to great literature, new ideas and other writers. We're starting to workshop our writing this week (gulp). I'm 41 and my classmates are mainly teenagers and they are amazing.

I've read my work out to about 60 people which was terrifying.

The best thing is that, while I'm writing creatively for assignments, I'm feeling really inspired and writing other stuff. It's great.

You can do English and creative writing.

I did an English degree - none of us that I knew over four years has gone on to write (published) fiction, a few are journalists and one is a very, very occasionally-published poet (not his main job). Around half wanted to 'be writers' when they started!

That said, I think it is a myth that studying English Lit takes off your originality. I know a few people who're published writers and they all read huge amounts of books.

Creative writing is better thought of at some places than others, like any other degree.

For now, could she do writing competitions to get some idea of what she enjoys/give her a sense of whether she likes writing to a brief? It would help her feel she's doing something towards what she wants to be, and if she changes her mind, it won't matter.

senua Sun 06-Jan-13 23:02:03

In a similar vein to tribpot's post: hands up who is doing, for a job, the subject they studied at degree level? Not many, I bet.

The best preparation to be a writer is to be an avid reader. She can do that in her spare time (unless she is doing an English degree, in which case she will be too busy reading books that have been thrust upon her and which she had no input in choosing!)

TheCollieDog Sun 06-Jan-13 22:38:41

She's 11. Encourage her to read, write, study, follow her nose. Don't funnel her into or deter her from anything. There are huge intellectual and social changes in the next 5 years. "Being a writer" is about as specific as "being a train driver" or "being a nurse."

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 20:45:12

Marian Keyes, Hilary Mantel and Lee Child studied law, JK Rowling studied French and Classics, Margaret Drabble studied English, Phillipa Gregory studied Literature.

Just some random examples! I certainly don't think you need to study language/literature to be a writer, but if she enjoys studying English that's a good thing to do.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 20:34:30

Oh she wants to be the next Jacqueline Wilson. I wonder, did I ever aspire to be the next Judy Blume <<muse>>.

Xpost: I think the group message becomes entrenched in subconscious, though, DD is at an impressionable age (like I was) when she absorbs strongly the messages still given to her by teachers. "You're so great at English you should go onto study that as an adult" type thing. I wish someone had said "There are lots of clever things you can do with your writing skills" instead.

By time she's 16 I won't have half as much influence, she'll be telling most of us to Sod Off, so I need to get my oar in now. wink

I totally don't want her to overly worry about run-on sentences or judicious use of semi-colons. I told her if she studies (not English subject) then she'll actually have something interesting to write about. If it were my decision I'd say study science because I think it wouldn't be so easy so would be more satisfying (in long run) for having been more challenging, but I'm building up to figuring out how to make that argument persuasive.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 20:26:23

What do students do as part of Creative Writing degrees? How creative can they be and how prescriptive is it? Does it involve tearing to shreds your fellow students' work? I imagine that being quite dull and encouraging paranoia.

JustinMumsnot Sun 06-Jan-13 20:15:59

Plenty of time yet lljkk. My eldest DD is nearly 16 and still has no idea what she might like to do at university.

JustinMumsnot Sun 06-Jan-13 20:14:33

I did creative writing as part of my English Literature degree - it certainly was useful. But it does depend on what you want to do - I have had a long career as a journalist and am now embarking on a second as an English teacher. Virtually nobody makes a living as a novelist or poet until they are many years into it so doing cw solely with that focus would be insane.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 20:13:59

The 'being a writer' is a bit of a red herring at this stage.

100% agree smile. And she's only 11. But I remember how welded I was to the idea that I had to study English, because I'd heard it so often, I wish that I'd been more encouraged to think outside that narrow box. Any academic career (even physics or engineering) involves lots of writing, too. Just want to make sure I counterbalance the messages I perceive DD is being deluged with, too.

If she wants to do any sort of creative writing I wouldn't recommend law. I did it for my first degree and lots of it is very dry. As others have said, most courses under the arts/humanities banner will include essay writing as a key part of the course, but might be more interesting...

creamteas Sun 06-Jan-13 20:05:18

There are creative writing degrees or joint honours with creative writing (although some people snotty about them grin).

JustinMumsnot Sun 06-Jan-13 19:59:19

How old is your DD? And what kind of writing does she want to do? Just 'doing lots of writing' in the way you might in say a Law or Geography or MFL degree is not necessarily going to be the right sort of training for 'being a writer' if what you are talking about is wanting to be a novelist or a poet for instance. A history degree for instance would certainly develop your skills of analysis and interpretation which would be useful, say, for journalism. But your DD needs to study something she enjoys. That's the most important thing. The 'being a writer' is a bit of a red herring at this stage.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 19:51:50

DD is a good writer, wants to be a writer when she grows up.
I was very similar at same age.
I was always told you should study English to be a writer, so is she being told. I think it's restrictive thinking.
I majored in geography/Env Science with a MFL minor & wrote heaps & heaps. But less than I imagine, say, a history or law degree would have required.
I think studying English could take off any original edge DD would have in her own fiction writing. Besides, writing is just one skillset in many she may develop.
So I am trying to think of other things to open her mind up to, that would still be in the direction where she thinks she wants to go, but giver her other options, too. Keep more options open.

Thanks for the ideas smile.

EduCated Sun 06-Jan-13 19:34:42

The Wiki lists give a fair idea smile

Why do you ask?

EduCated Sun 06-Jan-13 19:33:47

Ah, no, arts as in the academic sense: English, History, Cultural Studies, Classics, Philosophy, Religion, Theology, arguably Law, Languages etc as well as things like Fine Art, Art Histroy, Music, Drama etc.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences aren't always easily distinguishable, but things like Sociology, Psychology, Geography (some versions), Politics, Education, Business, International Relations, Anthropology, possibly Economics etc

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 19:16:06

So arts means... fine art? Even something like photography?
Humanities means languages? These subjects?
Social sciences is sociology, psychology, these?

throckenholt Sun 06-Jan-13 18:11:40

I did environmental science and it involved lots of physical writing (in terms of lecture notes, and essays - but I guess essays would now be typed). I guess a lot depends on the amount of lectures.

EduCated Sun 06-Jan-13 17:31:36

Pretty much anything arts/humanities/social sciences based.

Leeds2 Sun 06-Jan-13 17:30:50

Philosophy?

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