Your future

Creative Writing Careers

Impatient for a future as a writer?

Let me guess, you have a creative mind that never seems to sleep. You're inspired by your surroundings, and always have a notebook to hand filled with your inner musings.

As natural creatives with explorative minds, it's not always easy to pin down decisions. You like to explore your options. So, when it comes to making a decision about your future, it's not as straightforward as it seems, especially when the future for writers can be so vast.

At Essex, it's very simple. We know your degree is a stepping stone to your dream career, and we are fully on board when it comes to helping you carve a future that was made for you.

As a Creative Writing student, you'll have access to support and career opportunities throughout your degree. We'll encourage you to explore your options, be confident in your choices, and help you navigate through the maze which has been made more difficult by COVID-19 and the rapidly changing climate we currently live in.

The bottom line is, there is an exciting future out there for creative souls like you, and we'll make sure you're ready for it.


Let's dive in
There are no limits
  • Be an entrepreneur and run your own creative business as a copywriter, editor, or translator.
  • Head to the stages of the West End and Broadway and bring your imagination to life as a playwright.
  • Have a favourite radio show? You could be the next one to write it.

How will a Creative Writing degree benefit my future?

Who will value my degree?

A Creative Writing degree opens so many doors for you. Whilst there are many employers that will value your degree, there are also numerous opportunities for you to enjoy a career as a freelancer, and entrepreneur.

You'll study a variety of topics such as writing for radio, creative non-fiction, and the enlightenment era. You'll also delve into ideas of democracy and political authority, and ask questions such as 'what does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? You'll debate the viewpoints of those who say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" and those who say digital technologies are the key to unlocking social change. 

Whether you choose an entrepreneurial career or seek employment, combining your creative writing skills, with this breadth of knowledge and understanding of the world will be highly valued by employers (and your potential clients), as we all attempt to navigate the chaos of the modern world.

So, whether it's working for an employer or working for yourself, if it's storytelling, writing radio shows or travelling around the world translating foreign texts, you don't have to pick just one route. Imagine a future where you have the transferable skills to apply to any adventure or any pathway you hope to explore?

A degree in Creative Writing will prepare you for careers in fields such as: 

  • writing for radio
  • non-fiction novelist
  • film, media, and journalism
  • editing, proof writing, ghostwriting, copywriting
  • publishing
  • marketing, communications and public relations
  • digital influencer
  • freelance travel writer, fashion writer, theatre and arts critic
  • teaching, education and academia
  • digital agencies
  • theatre
  • translation

Ready to get started?


Explore creative writing courses

Which skills will I develop?

In the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, we do things differently. We combine innovative and traditional methods to help you become a great writer and develop your ability to critique work.

Your modules are carefully put together so that you're getting access to build the skills we know you need to stand out amongst the graduate crowd. Whether you're taking a single honours course or a joint honours course, as a creative writing graduate, you will find your skills, knowledge, and ability to approach situations with a critical and humanist mind are highly sought after by all employers looking to grow and make an impact in today's world.

A creative writing degree from Essex will help you to:
  • be experimental and creative. This could be the foundation of a career as a freelancer, novelist or writer for radio
  • provide a commitment to research and investigation. These are ideal qualities for future journalists, translators and editors
  • to think critically and from a variety of perspectives. These skills are invaluable for an entrepreneur
  • showcase a broad cultural knowledge combined with an attention to detail. These skills are a very desirable attribute for careers in publishing or the media
  • absorb, analyse and assess a wide variety of information and viewpoints. These are essential skills for working in theatre and radio
  • express your findings in oral and written form. These are invaluable skills for those interested in a career in translation and charities
  • the ability to analyse information and communicate your ideas clearly. These are excellent qualities for those interested in researching, filmmaking and leadership positions

You'll also have access to the Centre for Creative Writing which is part of a unique literary conservatoire that offers you the skills, support and confidence to respond artistically and critically to the study of writing with the guidance of our experts.


Explore the Centre for Creative Writing

How will my degree help me to succeed in a competetive jobs market?

Writing is what helps us make sense of the world, and whilst our world currently makes little sense in many ways, putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, helps us to document, reflect, and try to process the modern complexities of life. Creative writers help to evoke emotions, a skill that is essential if we are to maintain a balance between the interconnecting worlds of humanity, science, and technology.

As an Essex student, you'll get to choose from a unique set of modules, and carve out an educational pathway that puts you in the best position to take on the graduate jobs market. Whether it's understanding how to produce sensitive copywriting for a small business or large corporation, how to educate the younger generation on exploring their own imagination through educational activities, or understanding the fundamental foundation of producing a witty screenplay for total escapism, you'll develop exciting, and relative skills that will be essential to companies all over the world.

Unlike others, at Essex we are home to the brave, the bold, and the courageous. Combining your unique set of skills with your knowledge, tenacity, and Essex spirit will make you a graduate that stands high above the rest.


Explore our subject area

What if i'm not sure about my career yet? Or if I change my mind?

We don't expect you to have your future planned out before you arrive at Essex, part of the fun of University is exploring different themes and ideas, and learning new things. With this process, we fully expect to open your mind and get you thinking in new ways. The outcome of this process is to help you find an idea that resonates with you, something that makes you want to learn more, explore more, and ask more questions. Whilst some of your friends on your course might have solid ideas for their future, it's important to remember that each and everyone of us is at different points in our lives and have experienced our own journeys, just like you.

When you join us, you will see that we encourage the cultivation of community where open conversation and communication are central. Putting yourself out there and learning from others is a great way to explore where others have been before you, and explore where you might want to go.

Your lecturers

Your lecturers do more than teach, they are experienced and established writers who have a breadth of experience across literary genres, from novels, prose and plays, to poetry and song. They, along with the University's Careers Service are here to help you throughout your studies in finding the path that aligns your interests, whilst offering advice wherever you need it.

The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways module

In your first year, you will study an exciting compulsory module called 'The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways' where you'll learn all about the graduate jobs market and potential avenues, hear from professional speakers, and get all the tips to make the most out of your education and time at Essex.

Careers events

We would really encourage you to get involved with every opportunity that's available to you throughout your studies, including career events, networking sessions, and exploring opportunities in other departments too. For example, attending workshops, talks, seminars and conferences where you can hear from professionals across different industries. You can visit our events calendar for a programme of academic events which are added throughout the year.

Clubs and societies

It's always a great idea to join our fantastic clubs and societies, as these opportunities are an excellent way for you to learn from other people, network, and help to carve out ideas of where you would like to take your future.

Keep exploring our careers page to learn more about how you will be supported throughout your degree when it comes to preparing for a career and life after Essex. You can also chat with our students and staff to get the inside scoop.


Chat to our students and staff

How will the Department support my career development?

The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways

In your first year, you'll join this interdisciplinary, compulsory module which has been created to benefit you in two specific ways.

In this module, you'll develop an understanding of your degree and how it interlinks with the world today, and more specifically, the graduate jobs market. You'll come to understand the employability and career-development opportunities that we recognise could be of interest to you during and after your studies, and you will be introduced into the importance of continuous professional development (CPD) with a firm grounding in the practical skills and reflective practice.

This is a really exciting module, as, amongst other goals, our aim is to help you develop the practical skills, including reflection and self-representation, that will give you the best advantage in achieving your career goals.


Explore the module

Placements and Work Experience


Creative Writing students have the opportunity to carry out exciting placements, whether it's a full placement year or a few months during your studies.

We work with the University's Student Development Team and Essex Interns to help you find out about other work experience, internships and voluntary opportunities. Carrying out a placement or a voluntary position helps you to gain experience working in a professional environment, it gives you the opportunity to explore sectors you may be interested in pursuing a career in and provides you with key contacts within the industry giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market.

Read Marieke Sjerps's story, a creative writing student who said, "I would recommend Essex Interns to anyone. They are super friendly and helpful. If I could go back in time, I would have gotten in touch with them during my second undergraduate year. I would encourage anyone who feels anxiety or uncertainty about their career to get in touch with them."

Seriously considering a placement year? Let's sweeten the deal. If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.


Learn more about placements

Study Abroad

Year abroad

We have partner institutions all over the world who are excited to welcome you, so if you're keen to study abroad for a year, have the itch to travel, and want to make life-long memories, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

If you needed another reason to make your CV stand out, studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

Tell you what, if you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university.

Tempted? We thought so.


Learn more about studying abroad


Access to our Careers Services

Our Careers Services are on hand to help you from the moment you join us at Essex and is a service which you will have access to throughout your entire career even after you graduate. They're extremely supportive and understanding, and appreciate that everyone they meet are at different stages when it comes to thinking about their future.

The Careers Services provides a range of opportunities, such as:

  • providing one-to-one careers advice
  • support finding placements and internships
  • hosting workshops on employability skills
  • employability and careers fairs
  • offering budding entrepreneurs support on how to start your own business
  • support in writing your CV
  • The Big Essex Award which provides a whole range of marketing, fundraising, networking and project management skills. The award identifies the skills you’ve developed over the course of your studies and records your achievements on your degree transcript
  • support transitioning from one career to another
  • hunting for the perfect job


Explore opportunities from the Careers Services

Opportunities and discounts for further study

Creative Writing graduates are able to choose from a variety of Masters level courses. If you don't have an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, don't worry - students with a degree in unrelated disciplines will also be considered for further study with us, subject to meeting entry requirements. There's a lot to think about, so to help you with your decision, read about the value of a Masters degree at Essex, and how we can help you prepare for your future.


View our Masters courses

Funding your further study

There are often scholarship and funding opportunities available for students at Essex. Browse the University's scholarship finder for funding opportunities which may be available.

Alumni loyalty discount

If you are a graduate of the University of Essex, studied abroad here or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees, we'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex.


Learn more about the loyalty discount


Want more information about postgraduate study at Essex? You can find lots of helpful advice on how to apply, fees and funding, and acommodation information.


Order our 2022 postgraduate prospectus

An ongoing relationship after you graduate

Forever a part of our Essex community

In the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, we're proud to continue our lifelong relationship with our graduates. The University also hosts an incredibly vibrant alumni network. This community is open to all graduates of Essex and will provide you with exclusive membership for a lifetime, giving you access to discounts, networking events and much more. You can hear inspiring stories from other members of our global alumni community, and use our Friend Finder Service to reconnect with your old friends. Here at Essex, we value the advice and knowledge that our alumni have soaked up along their journeys, so we are eager for our alumni to come and volunteer at Essex, and help make a difference to the next generation of graduates.


Learn more about our alumni network 

Learn more about our undergraduate, Masters and postgraduate research degrees 

Careers and employability at Essex

All of our students graduate equipped for their future careers. Whether you choose to follow the natural path your course might lead to, start your own business or just get onto the career ladder.


See what Essex can offer you
Man wears suit in front of building
Creative writing student works with Lady Gaga at Born This Way Foundation

We're so proud of creative writing student, Joe Holmes, who has been selected amongst 29 others from around the world to join the Advisory Board of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. The Foundation is committed to supporting the mental health of young people by working with them to build a kinder, braver world. Some of Joe's role will involve writing stories for the foundations 'Channel Kindness' to inspire and create hope.

Read the article


Our inspiring alumni

As a creative writing student, you'll be prepared for a career in the media, education, publishing, and film and theatre industries. Two particular areas in which our graduates have had recent success are publishing and the theatre. One of our former students is now in charge of editorial at a large publishing house, and another has just taken over running one of the country’s major theatres.

It doesn't stop there, here's a few more success stories of our recent graduates:

  • Ida Løkås won a literary prize in Norway for The Beauty That Flows Past, securing a book deal
  • Alexia Casale's novel Bone Dragon was published by Faber & Faber and subsequently featured on both the Young Adult Books of the Year 2013 list for The Financial Times, and The Independent’s Books of the year 2013: Children
  • Patricia Borlenghi became the founder of Patrician Press, which has published works by a number of our alumni
  • Petra Mcqueen has written for The Guardian and runs creative writing courses

Other industries our graduates have carved out careers in include journalism and broadcasting, marketing, campaigning, museum work, architecture, commerce and finance, teaching, the Civil Service, and working for an NGO supporting the homeless and refugees.

Person sitting on grass reading a book
Get in touch
Professor Philip Terry Subject Lead for Creative Writing
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies