Postgraduate study
English

MA Creative Writing

Creative writers express thoughts, feelings and emotions through words and have the ability to inform, provoke, captivate, inspire and move. You approach creative writing from a variety of perspectives – including fiction, poetry, screenwriting and drama – to explore how writers operate and how you can become an independent writer.

Course information

Full-time

  • 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Tuesdays 6.00pm-9.00pm
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384689

Contact details

  • Facilities

    School of Arts & Media facilities

    The School of Arts & Media enjoys purpose-built, industry-standard facilities including 4,000m2 of studio space, a convergent newsroom, broadcast news studio, multimedia publishing studios and computer suites.

 

Drawing on our pool of talented, published writers and academics, you accumulate credit towards your chosen award at your own pace. This highly successful course also offers the chance to learn how to teach creative writing in schools or in the community.You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing (Distance Learning)

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Contact us at arts@tees.ac.uk and we will arrange a one-to-one visit for you, we would love to see you.

One core module lays the foundation for skills and techniques in creative writing, while another addresses writing for career development. Option modules make use of imaginative writing, creative visualisation and commentary elements to cover such topics as writing novels and short stories, working with poetry and lyrics, producing copy for drama and performance, scriptwriting for film and screen, and teaching creative writing. Some modules involve traditional seminars and workshops, but many incorporate a negotiated learning element.

Modules

Core modules

Creative Writing MA Project

The Creative Writing MA Project represents the culmination of your studies for the postgraduate award in creative writing. It gives you the opportunity to negotiate a writing topic with your supervisor which you complete in the summer months. Entry onto this module is only by completion of Stages 1 and 2 of the MA Creative Writing programme. In the first instance you are tasked with constructing a negotiated writing contract which forms the key aims and objectives of your 15,000-20,000-word project. You participate in active learning sets with other students on the module and are expected to contribute to these as your writing project develops. You are assigned a writing supervisor who will be able to monitor and assist your project on a negotiated basis. Finally, your project includes a supplementary critical element in which you reflect upon the processes of your completed writing project, which should be of a publishable standard.

Creative Writing Skills and Techniques

This core module covers the necessary creative writing skills to produce new work at postgraduate level. Covering poetry, drama, fiction and prose genres, it gives you the confidence to express yourself imaginatively using the written word. It also addresses such important themes as voice, performance, experimentation, style, register and audience, so that apprentice writers are fully prepared for the techniques required in the programme as a whole. You are given the opportunity to workshop your ideas and to become confident in your responses to others' writing. Topics such as drafting, editing and re-reading are an integral part of the module and you are expected to produce your own creative written responses on a regular basis.

Writing for Personal Development

This module is designed to explore individual motivations for writing, whether they are professional, semi-professional, therapeutic or life-related. The module asks you clearly to communicate your initial expectations and needs so that your future option choices and writing decisions have maximum meaning and relevance to your life. Drawing on examples of biographical and life writing, the module makes the assumption that because writing requires both a distancing of self and the deployment of certain technical skills, the act of writing itself permits a transformation and reframing of experience. The module thus simultaneously introduces you not only to social and affective relations, but also to yourself as a postgraduate creator of meaning.

 

and three optional modules from a range including

Active Screenwriting

This module gives you the opportunity to learn a range of approaches to the creative development and writing of a feature film treatment. With an increased focus on feature film format, you concentrate on exploring the structural dimensions of your work including aspects such as three act plotting, character arcs and story sequencing. You engage in the process of drafting a piece of work to a professional level and use established teaching techniques common to skills development within the film industry.

Forming Fictions

Fiction is by far the most extensive category for any creative writer to explore. This module asks you to take an autonomous and professional approach to your chosen fictive format, whether it is short story, genre fiction, or a more experimental open form. The module is delivered by published writers and covers such practical topics as getting your fiction published, writing book proposals and marketing your work. As such it maintains its M-level status while encouraging you to add depth and appeal to your writing in a writing workshop environment. Forming Fictions also addresses the key question of how to do appropriate research for novels, stories and imaginative/fantasy writing. Writers will share each other’s work and become familiar with key topics such as rewriting, editing and constructively criticising a wide variety of fictive formats.

Poetry for Publishing and Performance

How do you write poetry that will be published? How is this different from writing poetry for performance and open-mike sessions? Placing an emphasis on the twin aspects of performance and publishing, this module encourages writers of verse to understand their work in the contemporary social context. From rap, lyrics and street formats to triolets, sonnets and epics, the module addresses both cutting edge and traditional ways of writing poetry. You cover standard topics such as drafting, editing and reading aloud, and also postgraduate-level challenges such as peer performance of work and how to construct professional sequences of poems and anthologies. Both oral and written aspects of poetics are therefore assessed on the module and there is additional guidance on the research aspects of writing poetry.

Writing for Professional Development

With the new A level in Creative Writing under development and a renewed focus on the creative arts across the curriculum, this module is designed to equip you with the practical skills and tools to teach creative writing at school or college. It enables you to reflect on your current writing and delivery practices within a supportive and developmental environment in order to extend your capabilities for future contact with new writers. The module does three things: it takes a reflective audit of you in your professional context; it models appropriate teaching tools and techniques for the delivery of creative writing across different age groups; and it fills in recent background theories of writing which help develop your confidence.

Writing into Dramatic Space

The module explores the process of writing for the stage and other dramatic spaces by working from adaptation, developing original material and writing from improvisation exercises. You work through the process of developing monologues, duologues, whole scenes and narrative/dramatic structures. You also work on character, mise en scene, narrative technique, status transactions and the dramatic scene. You explore didactic, realist and more expressionistic forms of writing, and the transition of the work from writing into three-dimensional drama. Paying particular attention to the differing demands of various types of dramatic space, you address proxemic, kinetic and choreographed uses of dramatic space appropriate to M-level study. These concerns will be related throughout to the production of your own narrative and writing.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You typically write in a workshop-based environment, with access to the Writer’s Lounge and the resources housed within the Creative Writing Centre. Learning is largely portfolio driven, with twice-weekly timetabled groups and tutorials to support the learning process. As an enterprising, self-motivated student you work both independently and collaboratively with your peers using the extensive resources and facilities available to you. You are encouraged to reflect upon your own learning in the context of career development and the opportunities open to you.

How you are assessed

Your achievement is assessed mainly through project and portfolio work, including evidence of the research and development process as well as the production and presentation of draft work and peer assessment. Other assessment methods include written reports, presentations, oral performances and reflective commentaries.

Career opportunities

Typically graduates go on to roles in freelance writing, teaching, publishing, arts and humanities, media, performance and/or the creative industries.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree in English or a related discipline, or have other writing experience or equivalent qualifications.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information

Full-time

  • 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Tuesdays 6.00pm-9.00pm
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384689

Contact details

Open days

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