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Best uni for English & Creative writing? Lancaster? Nottingham?
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BonnesVacances · 12/10/2021 19:24

DS wants to do English and Creative Writing. All he's ever wanted to do is be a writer. He's doing English Lang A level and many unis want Lang Lit A level, if not just Lit. But that's ok as he wants to do language-focussed study not literature anyway and he knew that when he chose his A levels. And he's doing a Lit extension.

Top of the list so far is Lancaster (AAB). He'll also look at Nottingham (AAA) and Loughborough (AAB). The grades are achievable, but are by no means guaranteed, so insurance options are either Manchester Met and Brighton which are BBB-BBC.

Am I right in thinking that Lancaster is the best place for linguistics? Even though Nottingham is asking for AAA I'm assuming that's because it's RG rather than because of its outstanding linguistics courses? Or do I have that all wrong? The website for Lancaster says it's 3rd in the UK for linguistics and I think Oxbridge are 1st & 2nd, not Nottingham.

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Shadedog · 12/10/2021 19:43

People rave about UEA for creative writing (or did)

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Gherkingreen · 12/10/2021 19:48

@BonnesVacances my DS also wants to do Eng Lang and (prob) creative writing. We've talked about Lancaster, Man Met, Edge Hill, Hull and Chester. He's on course for ABB which in any sane world would get him a place at a good uni but last year saw so many students miss places due to grade inflation. Hopefully this year will be a little less mad.

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titchy · 12/10/2021 21:28

He should look at UEA.

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Piggywaspushed · 12/10/2021 21:32

Warwick is very highly regarded for CW. Lancaster is excellent for English. Nottingham isn't really on my radar at all for creative writing.

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Piggywaspushed · 12/10/2021 21:34

Given you seem not fussed about geographical location, please consider UEA. Lincoln is very good for creative writing at those insurance grades.

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BonnesVacances · 12/10/2021 21:41

Thanks all. Will check out UEA. Nottingham didn't really strike me as a strong contender so I guess the AAA entry requirements is just because it's RG.

Gherking I will check out the others you've mentioned too. We're south coast but happy to look anywhere. DS is very independent so not fussed about distance.

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TheresOnlyOneWayOfLife · 12/10/2021 21:49

My DS is in his 3rd year doing English Lit with Creative Writing at Swansea. Loves it.
He had Lancaster as his first choice but didn't get the grades so went to Swansea with BBC.
Think Swansea suited him better as only one or no actual sat exams as far as I can remember.
Good luck!

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LIZS · 12/10/2021 21:50

Surrey offer Creative Writing. English Language at A level is not that readily available, hence why relatively few will specify it. Linguistics is a completely different degree, quite scientific. UCL and Edinburgh are rated highly internationally for it.

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BonnesVacances · 12/10/2021 21:50

UAE require English Lit A level which is a bummer as it does indeed look very strong in CW. He is doing an English Lit extension as he enjoys reading a wide range of material, but he's definitely more interested in the language/ linguistics side of things and didn't want to do any compulsory literature at A level.

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Piggywaspushed · 13/10/2021 06:51

If you don't mind me saying, that's a little unusual for someone who is interested in Creative Writing? Most people combine Lit with is, otherwise where are their role models? In CW they will read lots of lit to understand styles, voices, genres...

I am assuming he is well read/loves reading?

There is a reason why UEA asks for Eng Lit.

Not meant to sound blunt. But if he doesn't like Lit he does need to know that CW is an extension of this. So long as he reads voraciously it shouldn't matter, I guess.

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DanglingMod · 13/10/2021 06:58

I think you need to be sure that you know what you mean by Eng/Cw vs Linguistics as they are two very different disciplines. Most aspiring writers would take lit A level and read for a lit degree with CW modules, not language A level with a linguistics degree.

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DanglingMod · 13/10/2021 07:29

Or do you mean he wants to write non-fiction? In which case, a journalism degree or journalism with creative writing might be more relevant and also more likely to accept him without lit A level?

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Driposaurus · 13/10/2021 07:39

Echoing others here: the writers I know read (and critique) other writers All The Time, and i would expect that to be echoed in a CW programme.

Linguistics is a different discipline altogether.

English Language A Level (at least when I did it in the dark ages) reflected both sides whic is confusing.

Winchester and Bath both run a CW programme I believe.

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AlbertBridge · 13/10/2021 08:29

What kind of writer does your son want to be? If it's fiction he'll need the literature side of things. If it's non-fiction, he'd be better off doing a journalism or copywriting course.

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Peaseblossum22 · 13/10/2021 09:29

UEA is very good for creative writing. I know someone enjoying joint honours creative writing at Exeter

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mimbleandlittlemy · 13/10/2021 10:17

Birmingham's course is excellent and done in conjunction with the Shakespeare Institute and Newcastle's is fantastic with chances to work on new writing with the RSC and Northern Stage.

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daisypond · 13/10/2021 10:26

Linguistics is quite scientific, a rigorous academic subject. It doesn’t really relate to creative writing.

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thing47 · 13/10/2021 11:17

DH is a writer and has in the past been responsible for hiring (albeit some years ago). He wouldn't consider a Linguistics degree any more relevant than, say, a degree in history or any other essay-based humanities subject tbh.

As others have asked, it does depend somewhat on what sort of stuff your DS wants to write, but in general terms RG isn't as important in this field as it is in some.

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BonnesVacances · 13/10/2021 11:59

Thanks all. My degree is in linguistics so I know what it is. I studied a fair amount of literature in it but from a language and representation perspective. He is adamant he doesn't want to study literature as he wants to avoid Shakespeare. But he doesn't especially want to study linguistics per se anyway. He wants to study language, and things like dialogue, gender representation which is all relevant to CW.

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Hdhdjejdj · 13/10/2021 12:18

I would look at what kind of the links the university has to the industry and what kind of work students end up doing after they leave. I can’t imagine the success rate is huge at most places given how competitive writing is.

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Piggywaspushed · 13/10/2021 12:58

Not all Lit degrees will 'force' you to do Shakespeare. I thought I didn't want to do Shakespeare in my degree and avoided the Victorians. Both mistakes.

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Piggywaspushed · 13/10/2021 12:59

Should he not just do a straight CW degree because Eng Lang and CW is a rare combination and he is limiting himself to a sprinkling of institutions really?

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Fifthtimelucky · 13/10/2021 13:04

The three people I know who have done English and Creative Writing went to/are at Lancaster or Birmingham. All really enjoyed/enjoying it.

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daisypond · 13/10/2021 13:07

Queen Mary University of London? You can do English Language with Creative Writing there. Requires ABB.

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thing47 · 13/10/2021 13:17

From DH: At the end of the day, the best preparation for becoming a writer is to write! So experience in writing blogs, writing for local newspapers (or website more likely these days), student newspapers etc, are all going to be as important as the degree itself.

A good degree from an RG university is always going to be good for the CV, but actually a solid body of writing, especially if some of it has been published, is more likely to impress an employer.

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