Just before Christmas, the University of Nottingham announced the closure of their BA Creative and Professional Writing course.
Although the university remains “committed to creative writing” through joint honours and Masters programmes, the closure of the CPW course could spell the beginning of the end for other creative writing courses around the UK.
A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said that “the School of Education’s Executive Group made the difficult decision to close the BA Creative and Professional Writing for new applicants, citing “shifting patterns of recruitment and recent changes in staffing” as the main reasons for the closure.
“It was an appropriate time to reconsider the strategic fit of the course with the School of Education’s longer term plans,” the spokesperson said.
With the final year of University of Nottingham CPW students due to graduate in 2017, what does this mean for other creative writing courses?
“Waste of time”?
Over recent years the number of students taking creative writing courses has increased, with the subject becoming increasingly popular. Despite some high-profile criticism, including author Hanif Kureishi branding creative writing courses a “waste of time” back in March last year, the course has gradually gained momentum in the UK.
However, following the University of Nottingham’s announcement, all of this work could turn out to have been for nothing, and is likely to reopen the debate about the worth of creative writing courses.
CPW: worthwhile and versatile
As a CPW student myself, though luckily not at the University of Nottingham, I know these courses are worthwhile. My own course has helped me learn not just how to become a better writer, but also how to develop my individual writing style. I feel that I am well prepared to enter the writing world after graduation, and my course has equipped me with the necessary skills to enable me to do this.
The beauty of Creative and Professional Writing courses is that they cover such a wide variety of different types and styles of writing – in one term you can expect to cover everything from online journalism to children’s fiction to playwriting. And without the CPW course, there would be no option to study this range of writing styles at an undergraduate level. If we allow the University of Nottingham to start the decline of the Creative and Professional Writing course, we’ll not only lose the choice and freedom this course allows, but we’ll also start to lose the versatility CPW graduates can offer employers.
What do you think? Is CPW or worthwhile course or were Nottingham right to stop running it? Leave your comments below!