Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons)

UCAS code W830

What is special about this course?

The innovative BA (Hons) Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands is designed to give you a solid grounding in the creative principles, in both form and structure of four of the main areas of creative writing: poetry, prose, playwriting and the screenplay. You will be encouraged to explore how these can inform and support other areas of professional writing in gaming, advertising, marketing, vlogs etc. 

You will have the opportunity to present your work using traditional methods as well as using new technologies and publishing platforms. The course aims to place creative disciplines within the cultural, social, political, geographical and historical context of Scotland, and to show how they make the area culturally unique but connect it to the literature, cultural traditions and histories of its geographical neighbours.

You will be encouraged to pursue your individual creativity, along with both the necessary intellectual stimulation and understanding of the professionalism required to be a successful writer in your chosen field.

The degree capitalises on the popularity of books and series set in Scotland and beyond, and will encourage you to realise the potential opportunity these existing and developing markets represent for your work.

Special features

  • Residential experiences
  • Lecturing staff from a variety of creative and professional backgrounds
  • Links with local communities
  • Blend of creative, critical and practical project-based learning
  • Work towards publishing your own work


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Highers at grade BCC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC
  • You must have Higher or A level English at grade B or above
  • You will also be required to submit a portfolio of examples of creative writing (up to 3,000 words)
  • You will also be required to attend an interview (international students may be interviewed by Skype)

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules may include:

  • Introduction to creative writing skills
  • Writing for film: introduction to screenplay
  • Reading as a writer
  • Writing poetry
  • Creative project: journal
  • Creative project: portfolio

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules may include:

  • Writing for children and young people
  • Writing for film: writing a screenplay
  • Developing creative writing skills
  • Introduction to publishing
  • Writing from the North: critical and contextual studies
  • Creative project: literary competitions
  • Heroic literature:epic from classical to contemporary
  • Creative project: peer assessment

Year 3 - BA

Modules may include:

  • Scottish writing
  • Orkney and Shetland literature
  • Writing for performance
  • Writing experience placement
  • Authors and audiences
  • Creative folio: researching your writing
  • Creative folio: writing what you know
  • Creative non-fiction

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Modules may include:

  • Crime pays
  • Publishing practice
  • Writing in the market place
  • Social media skills
  • Publication project

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, from September 2020, you will study online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and opportunities for campus attendance will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. This also applies to the residential which is likely to be a virtual event this year.
  •  Full-time
  •  Part-time (structured)
  •  Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and/or video conference seminars, residentials and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • Residentials will take place twice each academic year. Student are required to self-fund any travel to the residentials and cover accommodation and subsistence costs

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week 
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week


Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September



For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,650 £12,000
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,820 £6,000
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,940 £2,000

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

Additional Costs

  • Residentials will take place twice each academic year. Student are required to self-fund any travel to the residentials and cover accommodation and subsistence costs

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this degree, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Marketing, advertising, media
  • Gaming
  • Theatre
  • Website development

Can I progress into further study?

You may progress from BA (Hons) Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands to the following postgraduate courses at the university:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Creative Writing in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.