Getting Started in Nature Writing


Gain an appreciation of different forms of nature writing and produce your own texts in a supportive environment with this online course.

We shall familiarise ourselves with various forms under the Nature Writing umbrella, and share texts on the flora and fauna of different habitats and genres, from Gilbert White to today's eco-warriors.

You will write about others' work and produce our own original writing based upon your personal experience of engaging with the natural world around you, wherever that might be. 

Programme details

Courses starts: 19 Sep 2023

Week 0: Course orientation

Week 1: Introduction: What are we doing here?

Week 2: Killers and collectors: the Victorians.

Week 3: Gilbert White's village.

Week 4: Different forms, different voices.

Week 5: The Hines brothers: fiction and memoir.

Week 6: Nature as therapy.  

Week 7: Your jungle or mine?  A wood of one's own.

Week 8: Little things are big things.  Bugs! 

Week 9: What about the future?

Week 10: Recap.  


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £269.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Mr Jeremy Hughes

Jeremy Hughes has published two novels – Wingspan (2013) and Dovetail (2011). He was awarded first prize in the PoetryWales competition and was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award. He also publishes short fiction, life writing and reviews. He studied for the Master’s in creative writing at Oxford.

Course aims

To allow students to gain an appreciation of different forms of nature writing and to produce their own texts in a supportive environment.  

Course objectives:

  • To read and understand a variety of nature writing.
  • To analyse the ways in which nature writing sustains the reader's interest.
  • To provide a positive atmosphere in which students can explore their reading and writing from first draft to finished piece and give constructive feedback to others.

Teaching methods

  • Reading and discussion of texts.
  • Textual analysis.
  • Directed writing tasks.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • respond to different forms of nature writing with growing confidence and understanding;
  • be able to write in a manner which engages and sustains the interest of the reader;
  • be able to transform their own experiences into original writing;
  • be able to modify approaches to nature writing varieties.

Assessment methods

Two pieces of work will be expected:

1. A piece of nature writing which conjures a sense of place for the reader.  (500 words)


2. A piece of nature writing inspired by the texts and topics on the course.  (1,500 words). This can be:

  • a nature journal
  • article
  • travel near and far
  • notions of collection
  • conservation/preservation
  • memoir

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)