BA Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing)

This is one of the many specialist pathways available in ISC's Bachelor of Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing). The degree begins by developing your understanding of the world we live in through a variety of perspectives, periods, and topics - including creative writing. You will then take two specialized creative writing modules, exploring a range [...]

This is one of the many specialist pathways available in ISC’s Bachelor of Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing). The degree begins by developing your understanding of the world we live in through a variety of perspectives, periods, and topics – including creative writing. You will then take two specialized creative writing modules, exploring a range of writing approaches. You will develop your writing skills in several genres including fiction; Poetry; Life writing and screenwriting for cinema, radio and theater. By supporting you to develop your own writing pieces, and by interacting with unit materials, you will develop important skills in complex argumentation and critical commentary.
Besides your study of creative writing, you can also study a second major from Art History, Classical Studies, English, History, Modern Languages, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies. This will qualify you to include both subjects in the name of your degree, or to complete your degree with modules selected from a wide range of options.

Key features of the course

  • Specializing in creative writing within a broad and flexible degree in the arts and humanities
  • Develop and build on your writing practice
  • You have the opportunity to develop a project based on independent study
  • Develop a set of skills that will be valuable in the workplace and for further study

The first stage 120 Credits

Discovering the arts and humanities

Do you want to know more about how people have expressed themselves through the ages and around the world? If so, this module is for you. Studying the arts and humanities helps us to learn about what people thought and felt throughout history, as well as how the things they created influence the world we live in today. The module is built around three themes: 'reputations', 'traditions' and 'crossing boundaries'. It invites you to discover people, events, practices, ideas and works of art from three thousand years ago to the present day. No qualifications or previous study experience are needed, and there is lots of support available to help you succeed if this is your first module at university level. 

What you will study

This module asks three key questions that are explored through the following blocks of study:


Why are some people remembered and some forgotten? This question is about the ways in which reputations are formed and how they change over time. Working chronologically, you'll start with Cleopatra and her representation in both ancient writings and Hollywood films. Then you'll turn to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth I. Studying these figures will give you practice in working with historical documents and art works as well as modern accounts. Next, a section on Mozart provides the opportunity to develop your listening skills alongside an historical exploration of his musical work. You'll then turn to the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft in order to learn how to pick out and evaluate a philosophical argument. From there, you're introduced to the critical reading of literary texts through Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, a story which has acquired as much of a reputation as its author. Finally, a chapter on Vincent van Gogh will develop your skills of visual analysis and prompt you to ask how far a reputation might become obscured by ideas of genius or madness.


What are traditions and how do they influence us? This block continues to explore the ways in which the past reaches us today. You'll start with the sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome, looking also at how more recent artists have been inspired by them. A unit on the Blues develops the idea that art forms change over time and encourages you to explore song-writing and musical techniques. This is followed by an opportunity to respond to a tradition yourself through an introduction to creative writing based on storytelling. The relevance of tradition to literary works is explored in the next section, which looks at several examples of poetry about animals. A chapter on Plato then brings into question the role of tradition in contributing to moral beliefs. Next you will look at the importance of tradition in Irish history, as an example of how nations choose to collectively remember some things and deliberately forget others. Finally, you'll consider religious practices at Canterbury Cathedral and Dunfermline Abbey as well as the pseudo-medieval designs of nineteenth-century architects Augustus Pugin and William Burges.

Crossing boundaries

How are different cultures brought together or kept apart? This question will inform your study of the third block. You'll start by reading and watching Sophocles’ play Antigone and considering the ways it has been translated and adapted over time. The next two units take you to South Africa during apartheid to examine a play called The Island, which draws powerfully on the story of Antigone. You'll also learn about the ways in which music and song became forms of political protest during the apartheid era. These units will continue to develop your subject-specific skills but also provide the opportunity to consider what can be discovered through interdisciplinary study. That approach is continued in the next two sections, which explore the art of Benin from both creative and historical perspectives. In particular, you will look at the significance of these West African sculptures in the context of European colonialism and then consider how the manner in which they are displayed in museums and galleries affects how we interpret them. The final parts of the module examine the idea of compassion in relation to Western philosophy on the one hand, and Buddhist thoughts and practices on the other. That comparison will show how the disciplines of philosophy and religious studies can offer different outlooks but at the same time build upon each other.

This module provides the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and develop your skills in relation to art history, classical studies, creative writing, English literature, history, music, philosophy and religious studies. At the same time it is about how those different disciplines can work together to create unexpected perspectives and new forms of knowledge. The module also pays particular attention to the development of academic writing skills and offers lots of support if you are studying at university level for the first time.


How are cultures produced and encountered, and why does it matter? These questions are examined in this module through the key themes of place, power, literary ‘classics’, and journeys. You'll learn about contemporary cultures and relationships between cultures throughout history, discover how and why cultural identities emerge, and explore how they are expressed using texts, images and objects. After exploring a range of case studies from classical studies, art history, English literature, and creative writing, you'll investigate these themes with specific reference to your choice of one of these subject areas.

What you will study

This module asks two key questions:

How are cultures produced and encountered?

Why do cultures matter?

You'll be encouraged to think about how the ideas, behaviours, and customs of diverse groups of people, ranging from the ancient to the contemporary world, have emerged, been shared, and might continue to be meaningfully encountered today. More specifically, it invites you to investigate the role played by texts, images and objects in these different cultures, discovering what these can tell us about the shared ideas or identities of particular communities and historical groups.

Your study of cultures will be structured around four key themes Place, Power, Literary classics, and Journeys. Over the course of the module you'll learn about:

Placing ancient cultures – Why do places matter to cultures?

In this first block you'll learn about three places of central importance for ancient cultures: Athens, Rome, and Delphi. Studying the evidence for these very different ancient places will reveal what was important to the people of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as why these places continued to have cultural relevance in later centuries. You will also explore examples of art and literature which show how later visitors were inspired by ancient places, including people who encountered them as part of The Grand Tour in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Art and power – Why do certain works of art demand our attention through the centuries?

In this block you'll analyse portraits of Elizabeth I and Beyoncé, ambassadors and emperors, from Renaissance Italy to the Mughal Empire in India in order to answer questions about how works of art have been used to represent power as well as to challenge it. What techniques have artists used to show individual, political or dynastic power? You’ll also explore how country houses, from Hardwick Hall to the ‘real’ Downton Abbey, were designed to represent power in the past, and in today’s world. You'll find out how artists such as Goya and Picasso drew on satire and propaganda to mobilise their art against war and against fascism, challenging power. Finally, you’ll discover how character portraits have, and continue to be, brought to life by ancient rulers, in literature, and through the practice of creative writing.

Literary classics – What is at stake when we label something as ‘a classic’?

In this block you'll learn how to analyse two texts which began as ‘popular’ works but which have come to be regarded as ‘classics’ of English literature: Twelfth Night, a Renaissance comedy by William Shakespeare, and Jane Eyre, a nineteenth century novel by Charlotte Brontë. You'll be introduced to the idea that although these texts are deeply rooted within the cultural contexts in which they were written, they still have much to say to us today. You'll also find out why both works are considered to be classics, before investigating how a similar status might be achieved for works in the context of classical studies (Virgil’s Aeneid) and art history (the Mona Lisa), and how the classics of the future are produced by contemporary creative writers.

Cultural journeys – How do cultural encounters affect the creative process of writing?

This block will invite you to participate in the creation of cultural forms by introducing you to some of the principal skills of creative writing, including how to read as a writer and the essentials of structure, character construction, language, and setting. You will explore how writing involves a journey of discovery, as well as how contemporary writers have used their experiences of real-life journeys to evoke a sense of place and to write about home. The question of what happens when people and ideas travel, and inevitably encounter one another, is also relevant to other subject areas, so you will have the chance to examine what the cultural impacts of this might be for cultural identities, the visual arts, and texts from the ancient and contemporary world.

Investigating cultures

The final block is dedicated to studying cultures with reference to your own choice of one of the module’s four subject areas: art history, classical studies, creative writing, or English literature. You'll explore in greater depth the sort of material that is of particular interest to you, and further develop the skills to support your future study plans. You'll be closely supported as you develop your ability to study the arts and humanities with greater independence and to exercise some personal choice. 


What makes a revolution? Why does the world suddenly change, and what are the consequences? In this module you'll examine four periods of swift and radical change: the Reformation, the French Revolution, the aftermath of World War I, and the 1960s. You’ll look at each from the perspectives of History, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies, discovering how these disciplinary approaches complement each other and enhance your understanding of continuity and change. In the final part, you'll return to the discipline that most interests you and study a topic or period in greater depth.

What you will study

Revolutions looks at modern societies during moments of seismic change. It asks why revolutions happen, what it was like to live through them, and what their consequences were. In doing so, it helps you to understand how different aspects of the modern world were formed.

Over the course of the module, you'll study four key points in the modern world when everything seemed to change. Each of these periods will be examined through the perspectives of four different subject areas, History, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies, helping you to understand how these disciplines both differ from and complement one other in their approach to ideas, events and people. You'll then have the chance to research a particularly revolutionary topic or period in more depth, using the tools and techniques of the discipline you intend to specialise in or study next.

This module is divided into five courses:

Reformation and print

In this first cpurse, you’ll be introduced to the module’s four disciplinary approaches through two major and interconnected developments from the early modern period: the Protestant Reformation and the invention of printing. The Reformation shattered the unity of the medieval Catholic church and led to centuries of conflict as well as far-reaching changes in religion, society and culture. At the same time, the rise of printing (often called the print revolution) made knowledge, ideas, opinions and even music available to both rich and poor on a scale previously unimaginable. You'll consider how those fundamental changes to both technologies and ways of thinking altered Europe – and beyond – in ways that still reverberate today.

The French Revolution

In Cpurse 2, you'll look at the event which created the modern concept of a revolution: the French Revolution. In this period French society was comprehensively remodelled, whilst the overthrow of the French monarchy sent shock-waves across Europe. You'll learn about how the idealism and the violence of the revolutionary period was experienced by ordinary people. You'll also look at the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which lay behind many of the revolutionaries’ ideals. The course also considers the impact of the revolution on the life and the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, and on the radical new ideas about the nature of religion found in the writings of Auguste Comte.  

Revolutions and the First World War

In this third course, you'll learn about the turmoil created by the most destructive conflict the world had ever seen, including social crisis, political radicalism, and the collapse of European empires. The course considers the revolutions in Russia in 1917 and political turbulence in Germany at the end of the war. You'll also look at the philosophy of Karl Marx, whose ideas lay behind these revolutions, and at the religious foundations of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). Finally you’ll explore the music of Igor Stravinsky to see how the dramatic events of these post-war years affected his compositions.

The 1960s

This course looks at a different kind of revolution, focusing on the social and cultural changes of the 1960s in Europe and the USA, examining these in a much wider global context, in an age of satellites and television. This was a period in which many aspects of contemporary life were challenged. You will explore themes such as the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and the rise of youth culture and hippies. You'll also learn about the rise of female pop and soul stars, and the implications of that development for women’s rights more broadly. In addition, you'll examine the philosophy of existentialism and its links with the student protests of 1968, and you will consider how far the 1960s saw the rise of secular society, or the birth of new forms of religion that challenged established beliefs.

Independent Project

In this final eight-week cpurse, you'll choose a single discipline to focus on as you work towards an extended essay on a question of your choice. This gives you the chance to specialise in History, Music, Philosophy or Religious Studies, deepening your knowledge and skills within that discipline. You'll have considerable freedom in how you approach the essay and will begin to do some of your own independent research as you work towards it.

The second stage 120 Credits

Creative writing

This module takes a student-centred approach to creative writing, offering a range of strategies to help you develop as a writer. The emphasis is highly practical, with exercises and activities designed to ignite and sustain the writing impulse. The five-section module starts by showing ways to use your memory and experience in your writing and building a daily discipline for writing. This is followed by the demonstration and practice of the three most popular forms or writing – fiction, poetry and life writing (autobiography and biography). The concluding section aims to demystify the world of agents and publishers, teaching you how to revise and present your work to a professional standard.

What you will study

This module is suitable for new writers, as well as for those with some experience who would like to develop their skills. It will help you to identify your strengths and interests as a writer by giving you the opportunity to write in a range of genres: fiction, poetry, autobiography and biography. The emphasis is on finding your own directions and styles through experiment, practice and constructive feedback. The module is suitable not only for aspiring writers, but for anyone with a strong interest in reading and writing, who would like to deepen their understanding of the creative process.

The module is structured around the following five sections:

The introductory section, The Creative Process, focuses on developing a habit of writing. It examines a range of strategies including clustering, morning pages, and keeping a writer’s notebook, as well as statements from writers about their own approaches and practices.

Section 2, Writing Fiction, explores the main aspects of narrative, including story structure and time; showing and telling; character and setting; point of view; and editing.

Section 3, Writing Poetry, introduces you to the basics of contemporary poetry, covering a variety of approaches and techniques designed for beginning poets. Topics include image and figurative language; the line in free verse; voice and diction; structure; rhyme and metre; the sonnet; and revising.

Section 4, Life Writing, looks at autobiography (or memoir) and biography. Some of the central issues raised by life writing are discussed, including the nature of memory and forgetting; the performance of the self; and the representation of others. Finding and researching subject matter and suitable forms are also explored.

The final section, Going Public, outlines the professional presentation of manuscripts and submissions to agents and editors, as well as finding outlets for publication.

At the core of the module is the module book Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, which takes you week-by-week through the five sections. The emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities, supported by essays and literary examples by a diverse range of authors, including prose extracts, stories and poems to illustrate particular methods or strategies. The virtual learning environment contains audios, videos, animations and other interactive material to enhance your learning, such as interviews with writers discussing their own inspirations and techniques, and discussions with publishing industry professionals. Face-to-face and online tutorials offer additional opportunities to receive guidance and support from tutors.

This list of Stage 2 option modules
  1. Classical Latin: the language of ancient Rome
  2. Creative writing
  3. Early modern Europe: society and culture c.1500-1780
  4. English in the world
  5. Exploring art and visual culture
  6. Exploring philosophy
  7. Exploring religion: places, practices, texts and experiences
  8. Exploring the classical world
  9. Music, sound and technology
  10. Reading and studying literature
  11. Telling stories – the novel and beyond
  12. The British Isles and the modern world, 1789–1914
  13. Understanding music 

The thrid stage 120 Credits

Advanced creative writing

Advanced creative writing develops your writing ability by widening your generic range and developing your knowledge of style. The module works on the forms introduced in the ISC level 2 module Creative writing – fiction, poetry and life writing – and supplements these with dramatic writing, showing you how to write for stage, radio and film. You’ll explore how these scriptwriting skills might enhance your prose style, improve your writing across the range of forms, and further develop your individual style and voice. The module offers guidance on professional layouts for the dramatic media, and is a natural progression from Creative writing .

What you will study

This module is structured in four parts. At the core of the module is a handbook that takes you week-by-week through methods, readings and writing exercises. This handbook covers the first three parts of the module. The fourth part is a period of independent study and project work.

Section 1: Ways of writing 

You'll begin by looking at different approaches to writing. In particular you'll focus on the influence of genre, contrast, research, revision and drama on writing style. Work includes readings and writing exercises in fiction, poetry, and life writing.

Section 2: Writing drama

You'll progress to explore writing techniques for three dramatic media: stage, film and radio, which will illustrate the narrative strengths and constraints of each medium. You'll examine the conventional layouts for these media, and this part will also deal with dramatic principles connected to dialogue, subtext, status and exposition, as well as media-specific elements such as sets for the stage, aural contrast in radio and montage in film.

Section 3: Developing style

You'll look at how some of the methods used in dramatic writing can improve fiction writing, life writing and poetry. For example, looking at the connection between dramatic monologues and fictional narrators; examining the connection between film techniques such as montage and the way fiction might be structured. This section goes on to explore writing approaches in wide-ranging fashion, covering poetic form, rhetoric and the use of analogy. You’ll focus on improving your writing style and voice in all genres.

Section 4: Independent study

This final part involves working on a larger project, culminating in the presentation of an end-of-module assessment comprising a substantial piece of creative writing in one of the forms taught in the module – fiction, poetry, life writing or drama.

As in Creative writing , the emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities, although as the module progresses you will increasingly be expected to generate and develop your own ideas without reliance on the study materials. In comparison to the ISC level 2 module the emphasis will be on working independently to enhance and improve your writing style and voice. You'll generate slightly fewer projects but these will be of more substantial length and you will spend longer developing, editing and redrafting your work. You'll write a dramatic adaptation and explore the influence of drama on your work.

A Platforms and audio resourses will provide you with excerpts from films, stage and radio plays as well as interviews with novelists, poets and scriptwriters. 

Online tutor-group forums will enable peer-group discussion of some of your work. You'll be expected to engage in these activities, giving impersonal and informed evaluations of your own and others’ work through constructive criticism. One of the tutor-marked assignments involves writing a critique of the work of your peers, as posted on the online forum.

This list of Stage 3 option courses
  1. Advanced creative writing
  2. Art and its global histories
  3. Central questions in the study of music
  4. Empire: 1492–1975
  5. English literature from Shakespeare to Austen
  6. Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity
  7. Exploring English grammar
  8. Key questions in philosophy
  9. Language and creativity
  10. Literature in transition: from 1800 to the present
  11. The making of Welsh history
  12. The Roman empire
  13. Why is religion controversial? 
To study a bachelor's degree at ISC, applicants must have successfully completed a high school diploma, or its equivalent, from 12 years of schooling. At ISC, we believe that education should be accessible to all, which is why we offer a quality university education to anyone who desires to realize their ambitions and realize their potential.
The ISC provides study commensurate with the student's capabilities, especially in line with the student's absorption and the time allocated to study daily, given that the student may be able to study full-time and may have work that forces him to study part-time. We expect full-time students to be able to finish their undergraduate studies within 3-4 years. We expect our part-time students to be able to finish their Bachelor's degree in 5-8 years.
The academic year is divided into three semesters. In each semester, the student is allowed to register for a maximum of 6 courses and two courses as a minimum. Classes are distributed as follows: • The first semester begins at the beginning of the third week of October. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class during this period. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The second semester begins in the last week of January. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The third semester begins in the second week of May. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The mid-term vacation begins at the beginning of August and continues for the third week of October. • After the end of each semester, a two-week vacation is scheduled. The rate is calculated as follows: • 50% for the final exam • 50% to be distributed by the course teacher for the midterm exams and the classroom activities that the student performs. • The student is considered to have passed the course if he/she achieves an average of 60%. • The student is considered conditionally successful if he achieves a grade between 50 and 60% and has an overall GPA of no less than 2.5 out of 4.0. • The student obtains a bachelor's degree after successfully completing 48 courses of 360 credit hours.
The tuition fee is £50 per credit • Students are allowed to register a maximum of 40 credits each semester and a minimum of 14 credits. • The student pays a one-time enrollment fee of 200 pounds when registering with the ISC • The student pays 100 sterling pounds per semester as the registration fee for courses. • The creditd = four actual hours.
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