Reading and Writing Poetry


This is a course for those who have always wanted to write poetry, but have never actually tried to do so, and it will take place within an encouraging and supportive environment.

Have you always wanted to write poetry but never tried? Does the idea frighten you? Do you feel that there is a poet inside you trying to get out?  Or perhaps you write poetry but have never shown it to anyone? This is the course for you.

You will be introduced to a variety of exciting poets, techniques and forms and produce a small portfolio of your own poems. We shall read poems which illustrate different aspects of poetry so that you can utilise them in your own work. The emphasis will be on promoting a supportive environment in which to write and share your work, with plenty of opportunity for feedback.

Programme details

Course begins: 28 April 2025

Please note: there will be no class on the 5th and 26th May due to the public bank holidays.

Week 1: What is a word?

Week 2: "Bless You!" Some features to consider.

Week 3: Voices.

Week 4: What photography has to do with it OR How close do you want to get?

Week 5: All aboard! Rhythm.

Week 6: Just plain beautiful: the natural world.

Week 7: The aliens have landed.

Week 8: Narcissus. A challenge.

Week 9: All in a phrase.

Week 10: Celebration.

Digital Certification

To complete the course and receive a certificate, you will be required to attend at least 80% of the classes on the course and pass your final assignment. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course Fee £295.00
Take this course for CATs points £30.00


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 produce a variety of poems in a supportive environment and be able to discuss what they have learned about poetry using appropriate terminology.

Course Objectives:

This course will:

  • Foster students’ ability to recognise poetic techniques.
  • Demonstrate how these features can be used individually or in combination.
  • Encourage the use of such features and their manipulation to further students’ ability to hone their writing skills in creative ways.

Teaching methods

The first half of each session considers a particular poetic form in detail. Examples will be read and shared individually, in a pair or group. This is an important part of the learning process, allowing students to clarify, question and explore the different forms. This enables students to become familiar with the features of specific forms. 

The second half of the session will be writing and sharing of each other’s work. The emphasis is on producing poetry in a supportive environment, and to provide constructive feedback. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to understand different ways in which poetry can be made.

Students will be expected to have gained and/or developed the following skills:

  • Demonstrate a variety of poetic features in their own work.
  • Be able to use some of these features with increased skill and confidence.

Assessment methods

1.  Choose a poem (or poems) you love and write 1,000 words about what makes it/them special to you.  (The recommended anthologies are great resources.)

2.  A portfolio of four to five poems of approximately 130 lines or an equivalent agreed with the tutor.

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 the required standard.

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


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £30 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

The Department's Weekly Classes are taught at FHEQ Level 4, i.e. first year undergraduate level, and you will be expected to engage in a significant amount of private study in preparation for the classes. This may take the form, for instance, of reading and analysing set texts, responding to questions or tasks, or preparing work to present in class.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £30 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

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.