The MA in Creative Writing involves taking the core compulsory module ‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Concepts and Practice’, two elective modules from those available (see module descriptions below), and completing a major project of writing in any genre.
For the PGDip, three modules are taken (‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality, Concepts and Practice’) and two electives from those available).
For the PGCert, two modules are taken (‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality, Concepts and Practice’) and one elective from those available.
The MA / PGDip / PGCert in Creative Writing will enable you to:
- develop existing creative writing skills, in a range of genres, towards publishable standard
- undertake a substantial creative writing project
- practice creative writing and reading skills with a range of writing practitioners, including peers and published writers
- acquire a practical understanding of the techniques of writing, editing and working within the parameters of the writing and publishing industry
- engage with theoretical approaches to creativity and creative practice
- demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of literary conventions, and historical and contemporary contexts for writing
- explore your own position as a writer within a specific locale and history.
We offer the following modules:
Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Concepts and Practice
This is the core module taken by all students at the
beginning of the MA. Through workshops led by our staff and our Creative
Writing Fellows, it is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and get you
writing in ways you may never have considered before.
This module is all about the techniques – the “tricks of the trade”, in a completely positive sense - which highly successful authors use in order to achieve what they set out to do. Our work will be driven by the desire to locate these writerly techniques, to describe them and - most importantly of all – to enact them in your own writing.
This course will consider contemporary poetry in terms of its form and functions. While the emphasis of the sessions will be on your own writing, we will also study the poetry of both contemporary and traditional writers from Britain and further afield, who work or have worked in a variety of forms and using a range of techniques, as a basis for your own exploration.
This module is for anyone who has ever considered writing about their own life, or about the lives of others. We will look at autobiography, biography, hagiography, diaries, fictional recreations of real lives, and fictions taking in individual or family lives. Using the set texts as a basis, each session will consist of a short, tutor-led discussion, focusing on the technical issues, followed by intensive attempts to apply these techniques to your own writing.
This module explores methods for and modes of writing creatively in relation to voice. Topics will include the ways writers create distinctive voices to control and modulate tone and register in a text, the interplay of multiple voices (author, narrators, characters), and inter-related notions of identity, authenticity, social construction, style and aesthetics. We will discuss and analyse works by mainly contemporary authors in a range of forms (poems, novels, short stories) to inspire exploration of different voices in our own writing.
This module offers students the opportunity to design a course of study to suit their own research interests and concerns. They organise and carry out a work schedule set by themselves and determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.
Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Major Project
This module enables students to complete an extended piece of their own creative writing in any genre or genres, accompanied by a self-reflective critical commentary. The ‘major project’ and critical commentary together form the equivalent of a master’s-level dissertation. The development and writing of these elements will be conducted through sessions led by staff and Creative Writing Fellows; students will be enabled to choose a CWF from whom to get feedback.
Please note: as all our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules may vary from those shown here.
Teaching and learning
A variety of teaching and learning methods are used across the course and all modules use more than one method. Methods include seminars, oral presentations and readings, workshops, visiting speakers, individual supervision, autonomous research and writing.
All modules are assessed by coursework (portfolios or pieces of work with a critical commentary) of about 6,000 words.
The Major Project of writing in any genre (with critical commentary) would normally be within the range of 15,000 to 20,000 words.
Our virtual learning portals provide core materials relating to learning and assessment online. These include lecture schedules, module guides, supporting materials, guidelines and criteria for coursework along with notes on essay writing and report presentation.