About us

Your next chapter: English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University

Welcome from Louise Marshall, Head of the Department of English & Creative Writing

Here in the Department of English & Creative Writing at Aberystwyth, we offer flexible courses that combine the very best elements of traditional literary studies with exciting and innovative approaches to our subjects. From Chaucer to Twitter, writing has the power to inform, challenge, and change our perceptions. At Aberystwyth you can channel your own passion for reading and writing and make your own contributions to our long literary heritage and to the literature of the future.

We offer our students the opportunity to explore the texts and authors that fire their imaginations, to experiment with form in their own writing, and to develop skills that are valued in the workplace. You will be joining a community of researchers and students working at the cutting-edge of the discipline, creating new knowledge, and exploring exciting developments in creative and critical practice. We are committed to nurturing our students’ critical thinking and creativity and as one of our students you will have access to personalised academic and pastoral support that will ensure that you thrive, develop, and excel in your chosen subjects.

Our curriculum has been carefully designed to allow you to progress from initial encounters with literary texts and early attempts at composition to becoming skilful readers, researchers, and writers - whatever stage you are currently at in your academic journey, English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth can help you realise your future goals.

Start your next chapter here

This is why you should start your next chapter with us here in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University:

  • Our students value highly our impeccable standards of teaching and learning, our strong academic and pastoral support network, and describe their “home away from home” as a “big happy family”. The sense of community that we build within and beyond the classroom has a tangible impact on our students’ academic progress and their wellbeing and we are extremely proud to have been awarded Department of the Year 2021 in the annual student-led awards.
  • As the world-renowned cultural capital of Wales and a cosmopolitan multilingual university town, Aberystwyth or Aber (as the locals say) is a truly exceptional place to study. Not only is the University situated in one of the most attractive landscapes in the UK, but you will also be studying in a university that offers excellent academic resources and learning opportunities.
  • In the 2022 National Student Survey, we were voted Top in Wales and 3rd in the UK for student satisfaction in Creative Writing, and Top in Wales and Top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction in English Literature.
  • We're ranked Top in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Experience for the subject of English by The Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide 2024, and Top in the UK for satisfaction with teaching for the subject of Creative Writing by The Guardian University League Table 2024. This illustrates that not only are our students some of the happiest in the country but they also benefit from the most effective teaching in our subject areas in the UK.
  • We offer a lively and diverse array of extra-curricular activity to enrich your time as an Aber student. As well as reading groups, the annual writing retreat for final year students, and our popular "Literary Dublin" tour, we also arrange regular guest lectures, readings, and workshops, that bring you into contact with writers, scholars, and industry professionals from around the world. Amongst those who have visited recently are: columnist and critic Caitlin Moran; award-winning poet Andrew McMillan; novelists Niall Griffiths, Gareth L Powell, D K Fields, and Sarah Hall; and the popular vlogger and social media manager for Vintage, Leena Normington.
  • Aberystwyth University is an official sponsor of the Hay Festival, and every year English and Creative Writing students enjoy free entry to the biggest literary festival in the world where they meet world-leading authors (see our Twitter feed for some star-struck undergrads meeting Margaret Atwood).
  • Our department is home to New Welsh Review – Wales’s foremost literary magazine – and the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English. Just down the corridor from the Department you will find the offices of Honno - the Welsh women's press. Through these affiliations we offer exciting opportunities for you to get involved in a variety of writing and publishing activities, internships, projects, and training opportunities.
  • We have an excellent university library which, above and beyond the usual array of scholarly and critical editions, houses a fascinating collection of rare books that are a delight to anyone interested in reading and the art of textual production. In addition, we have one of the biggest libraries in the world, the National Library of Wales, on our doorstep – one of only five UK copyright institutions and an enormous asset to our students. So it is no wonder that we consistently rank #1 in the UK for learning resources in the National Student Survey.
  • We sit within Aberystwyth University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. So, as well as studying one of our discipline-specific degree programmes, you will benefit from belonging to a culturally rich, interdisciplinary environment that is home to specialists in Education; Modern Languages; Fine Art, Art History, and Photography; Welsh and Celtic Studies; Law and Criminology; International Politics; and Theatre, Film and Television Studies.
  • And when you want time out from your studies, you will be able to take advantage of a vibrant and bustling university campus that has its own sporting facilities and Arts Centre on site, an array of cafes (serving excellent cake), and spectacular views of the stunning coastline of Cardigan Bay - everything you need to stretch and inspire your creativity.

Your next steps

We hope that these web pages will give you a taste of life in the Department. Take the time to browse and discover more about our courses, our research, and our learning community. If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us - our contact details can be found in the 'Contact Us' section. And if you’ve never visited Aberystwyth, come along to one of our Open Days, Applicant Visiting Days or register for one of our Campus Tours. Come and meet some of the staff and students who make this such an amazing place in which to live and learn, and see for yourself why we’re rated one of the best English and Creative Writing Departments in the UK.