MA Creative Writing, 100% online
Jenna Clake, course leader for Teesside University’s MA Creative Writing (Online), talks about working with authors and academics to develop your own kind of writing in your own time. Apply now and start in September 2023.
The course is taught by distance learning with no requirement to attend classes at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework in your own time, whatever your work or personal commitments.
Each module enables you to experiment and develop your interests, whether these are in prose fiction, poetry, creative life writing, dramatic writing and screen writing or in using writing to work with people in personal and professional development and healthcare settings. The emphasis is on developing practical writing skills and techniques whilst gaining an understanding of your own work within a critical context and framework.
The flexible design of the course means that it is highly suited to teachers; 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.
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.
Top reasons to study this course
> Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.
> Flexibility around your commitments – learn and complete course work at a time that suits you.
> The teaching team are practicing creative writers.
> Career routes are wide and eclectic including publishing, editing and freelance writing, wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) and professions that require advanced writing skills.
> Unique focus on helping you develop a professional plan that you can go on to implement after the course.
This introductory module allows you to explore and express your ideas in a supportive environment. Learning activities are designed to support you in establishing or deepening your creative practice and gathering ideas with an emphasis on developing your confidence, identifying your core strengths and interests, and extending your skills and knowledge.
You are encouraged to experiment with a range of forms, techniques and approaches designed to help you to develop new ideas and ways of working. You will gain skills and experience in crafting, redrafting and editing, learning to become a constructive reader of your own and others' work through our supportive learning community and workshop environment.
You gain skills in advanced critical and reflective practices, helping you to begin to develop your analysis and understanding of your own creative work and process. By the end of this module, you will have established or enriched your creative writing practice and be beginning to think about what motivates you to write and the context and future direction of your work.
This project draws together the learning and development you have gained throughout the course. You complete this independent research project under the supervision of your tutor. With regular guidance and support you develop an initial project proposal outlining your key aims and objectives, and work this into a final portfolio of creative writing (in any form or genre), of publishable standard. You also produce an accompanying reflective and critical analysis of your work. This forms your final submission for the master’s award.
You consider and frame your writing within contemporary contexts, developing the skills you need to thrive as a professional writer in the world. You explore some of the many ways and contexts in which writers work, and the skills required to make an income as a writer or enjoy a sustainable writing life.
We help you to gain the knowledge and skills needed to market, publish and/or self-publish your writing; and we give you insights into the many other ways in which you can work with others using writing, from work in schools and the community to therapeutic settings. If you are already a teacher or writing facilitator, this is an opportunity to reflect on your practice and develop it further. If you are just starting out, we will help you to acquire the tools and skills you need. We will guide you towards the development of a professional plan that you could go on to implement after the course is over. In the past, students have used this module as a springboard to launch professional web sites, writing retreats, podcast series, workshops, events and festivals.
You explore the connections between creativity, writing and the self, and reflect on the idea of the self in the writing process and use key ideas and theories drawn from literary autobiography, life writing, autofiction, narrative theory and the psychology of creativity to develop your work and process.
Writing exercises, prompts and selected readings are designed to help you to let go of any unhelpful self-concepts about yourself as a writer that may be getting in the way of you producing imaginative work. Ideas explored in this module often help people to overcome blocks, access greater fluidity and flexibility in their writing, develop imaginatively and creatively, and rediscover the sheer pleasure of the writing process. You explore approaches such as writing identity, writing the body, fictionalising from self-experience, objectifying and shaping the stories of our lives on the page and exploring personal metaphor. Concepts such as personal truth, inner dialogue and helpful distance allow you to deepen your writing and write from a felt sense.
You learn more about your chosen area of interest in terms of form, genre and audience. Working with a tutor who is a practising writer in this area, you gain in-depth knowledge of techniques and approaches to help develop your skills. You select one from:
- Prose/Fiction (including life writing, memoir and creative non-fiction).
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
The course is taught by distance learning. There is no requirement to attend classes at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework at times that work best for you.
Each unit will usually consist of:
- a short introductory video, in which your tutor introduces the week’s key themes
- writing prompts and exercises
- supporting materials, reading questions and suggestions for further reading and research to discuss in the discussion forum
- a dedicated private space to workshop your ideas and writing-in-progress with the tutor and fellow students.
You will also receive help, support and feedback on your work directly from the tutor, both through the online course space and by email.
You don't need to be a technology expert to take this 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.
You should normally have an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline or other relevant experience - or equivalent qualifications. Our tutors will be happy to discuss entry requirements with you.
Please provide a portfolio of your creative writing of up to and no more than 2,000 words in any one or two forms or genres, for example poetry, prose fiction, life writing. Please include this portfolio in your online application.
For general information please see our overview of entry requirements
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.
Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is the platform you use to access your online course
Teesside University online learning courses are delivered through the Brightspace Learning Environment.
Here are some of the benefits.
- You can use it on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
- And you can use it anytime, so that you can plan your learning to fit your own schedule.
- It's easy to use and navigate.
- Modules are set out by topics and themes. You can use the progress bar to understand where you are in your modules, and appreciate your achievements.
- We support you to become familiar with your VLE, helping you to start learning quickly.
- You get feedback, help and guidance from tutors throughout your course through the VLE, and you can ask questions at any time.
- Our tutors use a live activity feed to keep you updated about your course.
- You can create a student profile, collaborate with other students and take part in online discussion forums.