Postgraduate study
English & Creative Writing

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, life writing and drama – to explore how writers operate and how you can become an independent writer.

Course information

Full-time

  • within 1 year

More full-time details

2018 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2018 entry

  • Tuesdays 6.00pm-9.00pm
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384689
  • Fee for UK/EU applicants: £561 per 20 credits
    More details about our fees

Contact details

Further information

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.

This programme is campus-based and taught by blended learning, with some face-to-face sessions and some taught online. You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing (Distance Learning) which is taught entirely online.

Taught by published writers and academics, this highly successful MA consists of five modules. Each module is eight weeks long, and they run sequentially throughout the year. If you study full time you will take all five modules in a year. If you study part time you will study modules 1 and 3 in the first year, and modules 2, 4 and 5 in your second year.

Course structure

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

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

The campus-based course is taught by blended learning - a mix of face-to-face classroom sessions and distance learning. The classroom sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 6.00pm - 9.00pm. As part of module 4 there is also an intensive study weekend held at the University on 25-26 May 2019.

The distance learning elements are not taught at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework at times that work best for you. The distance learning sessions usually consist of a short introductory video, in which your tutor introduces the week’s key themes, followed by writing prompts and exercises, together with supporting materials, reading questions and suggestions for further reading and research to discuss in the discussion forum. There is also a dedicated private space to workshop your ideas and writing-in-progress with the tutor and fellow students.

You don't need to be a technology expert to benefit from this aspect of the course. All you need is a PC, laptop or tablet to access the course materials and forum and share your writing with the tutors and your peers.

How you are assessed

Each taught 30-credit module is assessed against clear learning outcomes through written assignments, usually consisting of both creative work and some critical or reflective work. In addition to the taught modules, you produce a final project (60 credits) in your chosen form and genre.

Career opportunities

MA Creative Writing graduates go on to a wide choice of professions and careers. Apart from the more obvious routes of publishing, editing and freelance writing, many work in the wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) or in workplaces that require advanced writing skills.

The practical and flexible design of the course means that it is also highly suited to teachers wishing to up-skill their portfolios in relation to the new Creative Writing A level; writers developing their teaching and workshopping skills to work in the community; and those using writing in therapy, healthcare and other professional settings.

If your job has a requirement to work on live briefs and projects with an imaginative or research element, you will also find the transferable skills offered by this MA a natural fit.

Although the course will help you if you want to develop a career using writing, many students take our MA to extend their skills for their own personal development and fulfilment.

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

  • within 1 year

More full-time details

2018 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2018 entry

  • Tuesdays 6.00pm-9.00pm
  • Enrolment date: October
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384689
  • Fee for UK/EU applicants: £561 per 20 credits
    More details about our fees

Contact details

Further information