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BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English Literature course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:

Suggested reading

You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a few suggested books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but see if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online to read over the summer.

General texts for Creative Writing

WRI1018: Introduction to Poetry

WRI1019: Introduction to Fiction

WRI1020: Introduction to Scriptwriting

General texts for English Literature

LIT1020: Ways of Reading

LIT1024: Literary History


Useful websites

  • If you’re looking for something to read, have a look at the Poetry Foundation website.
  • Make sure to visit the Prospects website if you’re thinking about a future career in English.
  • You can also create an online To Do List here.

Read Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

This text is available in various cheap editions. Even if you’ve studied this text before, please reread over the summer and think about the following questions:

  • To what extent does Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre draw on themes and figures from fairy tales and the Gothic to tell the story of Jane’s development from a child into a young woman?
  • To what extent is Jane Eyre a politically engaged novel? Find out what you can about what events were going on in Britain and the world in the 1840s.
  • How does Brontë represent Jane’s psychological development in the novel?
  • How does Brontë represent masculinity through the different characters of Mr Rochester and St John Rivers, among others?
  • To what extent is Jane a reliable narrator of her own story?

Other things to try over the summer

  • Buy a notebook and use it to record ideas, snippets of overheard conversations, poems, short stories, etc.
  • Write in it every day
  • Describe one incident in clear prose as though it were a passage from a novel you’d like to read
  • Write a haiku
  • Start your own blog
  • Read the first three issues of The Black Market Review
  • Join our Facebook group.

Meet your programme leaders:


Additional ways to prepare

Preparing to start

This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.

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Find out more about who you are

The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

Start preparing yourself